A new walking trail, providing access to the La Chute River Falls, will be dedicated Saturday, July 14.
“Ticonderoga, the First 250 Years” Committee will sponsor two Dedication Ceremonies Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m. at Champlain Legacy Park (on the north side of the La Chute River across from Bicentennial Park in downtown Ticonderoga). The Liberty Pole, dedicated back in 1975, having been refurbished and reinstalled will be rededicated on this day. Also, a new walking trail providing access to the La Chute River Falls will be dedicated. The master of ceremonies will be William G. Dolback, Ticonderoga Town Historian and chair of the “Ticonderoga, the First 250 Years” Committee.
Dating back to the years before and during the American Revolution, the Liberty Pole was a sign of liberty, freedom and independence. They were erected in prominent places in communities sympathetic to the American cause as a symbol of defiance against England. Commemorating the route taken by Colonel Henry Knox, markers were dedicated from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston, along the trail where Knox transported cannon used to force the British to evacuate Boston in the winter of 1775-1776. This specific Liberty Pole was designated as the number one marker in this series.
Robert F. Smith, Adirondack Boy Scouts District Vice Chairman and a long time Ticonderoga scouter, was responsible for the initial installation of the Liberty Pole in Ticonderoga. It was his vision back in 1974-1975 to fabricate the Liberty Pole, involving the Boy Scouts and dedicating it for Ticonderoga’s Bicentennial Celebration. Bob’s son Terry Smith took part in crafting the original pole in Fort Edward with Earl Stott, owner of Roger’s Island. International Paper Company and members of the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts provided assistance. On April 19, 1975, Bob Smith proudly witnessed the erection of the Liberty Pole in front of what is now the 1888 Building, the Heritage Museum, and participated in its dedication for the Bicentennial Celebration and its tribute to the Boy Scouts of America. Ticonderoga’s Boy Scouts throughout the years have repainted it in order to preserve and protect it.
This past winter Terry Smith refurbished the same Liberty Pole that he helped construct more than three decades earlier. After the Liberty Pole was erected this spring in Champlain Legacy Park, Smith placed the symbolic soaring golden Eagle at the very top. This particular Liberty Pole has now become a valuable piece of Ticonderoga’s heritage.
Not far from the Liberty Pole is the site of another project, a walking trail with bridge and landing providing safe access to the falls along the La Chute River, the gateway to Lake Champlain. William Dolback and Michael Cruickshank have led this effort begun over a year ago before the extremely high waters in the spring and summer of 2011 put the plan on hold. Although this dedication will be the official opening of the walking trail, people have been enjoying it during its development. As part of ecotourism, the Walking Trail Access to the falls can provide visits to natural areas with unique experiences while conserving the natural eco-system.
The project’s overarching goal is to enhance the quality of life for local people and visitors alike, young and old, by creating a space for educating residents, advocating healthy environmental practices, encouraging recreational activities and promoting eco-tourism. This project was made possible by an Education and Outreach Grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
“Ticonderoga, the First 250 Years” is a Ticonderoga Committee, co-sponsored by the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum and the Ticonderoga Historical Society, formed to lead the Community in commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the settlement of Ticonderoga in 1764 and the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 (Battle of Plattsburg on Lake Champlain 1814) along with the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. These ceremonies are a continuum of activities which have been and will be coordinated by this Committee.
Following this program, light refreshments will be served at the site. For additional information, contact the Ticonderoga Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org and 585-7868 or visit us on facebook.