“War Party from Ticonderoga,” a painting by Robert Griffing, has been donated to the town and now hangs in the Community Building lobby. The donation was arranged by historians Keith Dolbeck, right, and Dan Blanchette of Ticonderoga.
A new piece of art graces the halls of Ticonderoga’s Community Building.
“War Party from Ticonderoga,” a painting by Robert Griffing, has been donated to the town and now hangs in the town hall’s lobby.
The donation was arranged by historians Keith Dolbeck and Dan Blanchette of Ticonderoga. Dolbeck and Blanchette are field test representatives for Whites Electronics, using Whites equipment as they search for historical artifacts in the area. The men asked White to make the donation to the town.
“I think that it is appropriate that a town like ours, named after a Native American terminology showcases a portrayal of Native American artwork,” Dolbeck said.
The name Ticonderoga is Native American, meaning land between two waters.
Dolbeck noted that Griffing was inspired to paint “War Party from Ticonderoga” after a visit to the area. Beneath the painting is a “special inscription” to the people of Ticonderoga from Griffing.
Griffing grew up in Linesville, Pa., collecting stone artifacts, the key factor for his love of history and native cultures. After graduating form the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a 30-year advertising career, he returned to the subject of his early fascination, the Eastern Woodland Indian of the 18th century. Griffing decided to devote his time and energy to his passion after receiving an enthusiastic response to his early paintings and prints.
He describes himself as a painter of 18th century scenes that involve or feature the Eastern Woodland Indian. His paintings focus on a time that marked the beginning years of chaos and uncertainty for the Woodland tribes as they struggled to survive the encroachment of Europeans.
In addition to his extensive library of books, historical papers and journals, he relies on historian and re-enactor friends who provide information and act as models for some of the characters in the paintings.
During the past two decades Blanchette and Dolbeck have found many items with historical significance. They would like to someday create a museum in downtown Ticonderoga to display the artifacts.
The history enthusiasts have also been active on several other fronts. They were leaders in the recreation of Lord Howe’s death in Ticonderoga a decade ago and routinely bring history programs to area schools and historical societies.
Earlier this year Blanchette and his son Zachary appeared on “Buried Treasure” on the FOX television network.
“Buried Treasure” is an unscripted series in which identical twin brothers Leigh and Leslie Keno travel across the country to help ordinary people discover the unknown treasures in their homes. The Keno brothers, stars of “Antiques Roadshow,” are modern-day treasure hunters, antique experts and appraisers who have helped people all over the world sell more than $1 billion worth of collectibles. The local men were asked to find missing treasure on a farm in Windham, in the Catskill region.
This is the second community donation by Whites Electronics to the community arranged by Dolbeck and Blanchette. Last summer the firm donated $600 to the Ticonderoga Daughters of the American Revolution chapter to fund a study of a possible downtown 18th Century museum.
“Whites Electronics is a very conscientiously responsible company with respect to encouraging the metal detecting hobby to preserve, document and interpret the history in the ground to the American public,” Dolbeck said.