We got lucky that day because we walked up to the house and got a tour guide all to ourselves, while seconds behind us a school bus had pulled up and the kids were headed our way. The guide said we got their first. I was happy not to have to share the small spaces or the guide with a group of students. Midway through the tour, we became exhibit B as they all gaped at us coming down the stairs. (Ohh, homeschoolers...)
I couldn't take any pictures inside, but a few interesting features I can recall I would like to record. One is that the sitting room of this house (windows to the right in this picture) boasts original wallpaper on one of the walls. The others have been made to match it. Whoa!
Another interesting feature was the little beds. If you've ever been to a historical home and noticed the short beds, perhaps you have been told or guessed that "people were shorter back then." But according to our young guide, who I really liked but whose name I can't remember, people weren't shorter. In fact Philip Schuyler was almost as tall as George Washington (who didn't sleep there, though he visited), 6'4". But they slept sitting up in those days due to some sort of superstition.
The other striking element to me is that the floors in the public areas were lined with a rattan-like coverings which turned out to be the packing materials from the crates of fancy dishes (china) the Schuylers had had shipped over from, well, China. Reuse and recycle!
One other interesting fact I picked up was that Schuyler's wife was of the family Van Rensselaer. There are plenty of Dutch names up this way, thanks to the original European colonizers. But Van Rensselaer is a name associated with another historical building, of which you might find pictures on this blog, and a certain number of my readers might be familiar. It was a fun little connection to make. They had 15 children.
From there we moved on to the Battlefield Park visitors' center. We found very friendly and outgoing staff, as well as a bookstore stocked with all the books we had just read for our unit. They also sell a nice supply of local goods like maple syrup, honey and recipe books. We watched a movie there about the Turning Point and then we played with their hands in exhibit of soldier clothes and a tent like the soldiers would have camped in. After that, we toured the battlefield. That costs extra, but I was determined to do this right. We had brought a picnic, so we found a nice spot to sit and eat. We were met by another friendly and outgoing interpreter, a retired to teacher who happily told us all about the site. He also gave us directions to a spot on the lake in Ticonderoga where we could find a heron rookery, but I regret we didn't get there this year. He also told us that there might be birds' nests in the cannons, which might have become the most memorable fact of the day for the Boy.
I regret to say that once you've seen one grassy field with a cannon on top of a hill, you've pretty much seen them all. Getting in and out of the car for each redoubt quickly got old, so, we rushed through the remainder of the park. We had one more stop to make.
One of the displays we enjoyed was that of a lady who does costuming and speaks at schools. We also saw food preparation, and a few vendors had displays for sale. I thought the pewter chess set was something special.
What do you suppose the marker below is about? I thought it was about the battle that was being re-enacted, but it isn't. It's another "George was here."
There is another site between home and Crown Point, Fort Ticonderoga. We didn't visit there because it costs more than the others and wasn't in the budget. It is nearly a 2 hour drive to visit these. I am glad we did though and wonder whether the next time we visit this period of history, I should try to align it better with the seasons so that we can visit the sites at the right time.