NCCC History Club ready to help with Fort Ann battlefield preservation

Ti History tour to Fort Ann

Date:19 Jun, 2018

NCCC History Club ready to help with Fort Ann battlefield preservation

Photo Caption: George Sherwood, right, talks with a group of North Country Community College students and faculty including mathematics instructor Pete Nelson during an NCCC Ticonderoga Campus History Club visit to Battle Hill.

 

TICONDEROGA – North Country Community College is pledging its support to an ongoing effort to preserve and interpret an important Revolutionary War battlefield.

Students and faculty from the college’s Ticonderoga Campus History Club recently toured the site of the Battle of Fort Anne in Washington County.

Led by George Sherwood, a U.S. Army veteran who grew up near what’s known as Battle Hill, the group traversed the open woods and hiked to the top of a ridge near where hundreds of Continental troops confronted British soldiers on July 7-8, 1777.

“It was a small but very important battle,” Sherwood told the group, explaining that the attack stalled British Gen. John Burgoyne’s troops long enough for Continental reinforcements to arrive at Saratoga, which became the turning point in the war. “If it wasn’t for this battle, there wouldn’t have been a Battle of Saratoga. This battle delayed Burgoyne over a month.”

Battle Hill had been under threat by a mining developer until two years ago, when the Civil War Trust purchased the 165-acre site and transferred it to the town of Fort Ann so it could be developed into a historical site.

History class on Fort Ann tour

Photo caption: Students, faculty and friends of the North Country Community College Ticonderoga Campus History Club recently toured the site of the Battle of Fort Anne and have offered their help in preserving and interpreting it.

Using grant funding, the town has hired the LA Group of Saratoga Springs to develop a master plan for the property. Trails, benches and interpretive kiosks that describe the timeline and history of the battle are among the projects being considered. Sherwood recently led the consulting firm on a longer expedition through the property.

“I’d like to see this opened up so more people can access it, and learn about and understand what happened here,” he said.

Tom McGrath, a Social Sciences and Humanities instructor at the college, said the History Club wants to help with that effort.

“I know our students would be eager to volunteer to build trails and do whatever work is needed to help tell the story of the Battle of Fort Anne,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for them to become more active in the community on a volunteer level and contribute something that will last for generations. Just being out here with George and walking in the footsteps of history was an enriching experience for them.”

Fort Ann map

Photo Caption: A map held by NCCC Director of Library Services Brian O’Connor shows the movement of Continental and British forces during the Revolutionary War Battle of Fort Anne.

The college’s Ticonderoga Student Government Association recently authorized a $100 donation to the Fort Ann American Legion, which is spearheading the preservation efforts and plans to erect a monument commemorating the battle.

About North Country Community College:  As the only public college located in the Adirondack Park, North Country Community College provides educational, cultural and recreational programming to a 3,500 square mile service area with a population of 90,000. The college maintains three campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga, New York; an extensive high school-based academic partnership; and online course offerings. North Country Community College is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. With 64 unique colleges and universities, SUNY provides learning environments for every type of student, every stage of life, and every kind of passion. For more information, visit www.nccc.edu.