July 3, 2008

Contact: Elsa Gilbertson, Regional Historic Site Administrator, (802) 759-2412, [log in to unmask]




Orwell, Vt.— This time 231 years ago southern Lake Champlain was the scene of bustling military activity.  On the night of July 5 and 6, 1777, the Northern Department of the American Army withdrew from Mount Independence in Orwell and Fort Ticonderoga, as British Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne sailed down the lake pursuing his plan to split New England off from the rest of the United States.  Come to the Mount Independence State Historic Site on Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20, for Soldiers Atop the Mount, the annual living history weekend featuring Revolutionary War reenactors who recreate this exciting period in American history.  It’s fun for the whole family.  Admission is $6.00 for adults and free for children under 15, and includes entrance to the museum and all activities.


Visitors can walk through the American and British camps, talking with the men and women from reenactment units that portray some of the actual units that garrisoned Mount Independence.  Watch the military tactical demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, with a meeting and talking with the reenactors session afterwards.  Learn how to drill the American and British ways, visit the museum, and walk the trails.  The new Baldwin Trail now has interpretive signs along its 1.6-mile route. 


On Saturday, the camps open at 10:30 with ongoing demonstrations of camp life, a history scavenger hunt, and children’s activities, 11:00 a.m. learning how to drill the American way for children and the young at heart, at 11:30 guided tours of the camps, 1:00 p.m. an artillery demonstration, 2:00 the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, 2:15 a short concert by the Seth Warner Mount Independence  Fife and Drum Corps, and at 3:00 the narrated military tactical demonstration with exciting military action encircling the audience.  There will be a food concession stand during the day. 


On Sunday, the camps open at 10:00 and the history scavenger hunt is on.  At 11:00 see the artillery demonstration, enjoy a guided camp tour at 11:30, experience the narrated military tactical demonstration at 1:30.  At 3:00 site interpreter Paul Andriscin will give an illustrated program, “What the Soldiers Carried and Why,” in the auditorium.   Call for details.


Mount Independence, a National Historic Landmark, is near the end of Mount Independence Road six miles west of the intersection of Vermont Routes 22A and 73 in Orwell.  It includes an air conditioned visitor center and museum and nearly six miles of hiking trails.  It is open daily through October 13, 9:30 to 5:00.  Call (802) 948-2000 for more information or visit www.HistoricVermont.org/sites.




The Vermont State Historic Sites:  History Where it Happened


Elsa Gilbertson

Regional Historic Site Administrator

VT Div. for Historic Preservation

Chimney Point, Mount Independence, & Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Sites


Address:  Chimney Point State Historic Site

7305 VT Route 125

Addison, VT 05491

(802) 759-2412

Fax:  (802) 759-2547


The Vermont State Historic Sites:  History Where It Happened