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For hundreds of years the British and French had fought over land, water passages and trade in various parts of the world. Native American peoples were forced to choose trading partners in the hope that these alliances would protect their lands and way of life.
As each nation tried to establish a foothold in North America, conflicts arose over land and trade rights. By the late 1600s, Britain and France were the predominant nations and the bitterness of the wars in Europe spilled over into the New World. The Seven Years War was being fought in Europe and Asia while its counterpart in North America was known as the French and Indian War (1754-1763).
In 1755 Fort William Henry was constructed to command the southern end of Lake George. It was a British outpost to protect the colonies farther to the south and to serve as a launching site against the French held northern end of the lake protected by Fort Carillon. Its short history and violent end has been retold, although inaccurately, in James Fenimore Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans”. The Fort William Henry Museum and Restoration has added a new feature – Living History!!
Step back in time at Fort William Henry. What was like to be at the outpost in the wilderness in 1757; the hardships and fears of being the front line in defense of the British Colonies from French invaders? Talk with those that were there!
Meet a British soldier of the 35th Regiment of Foot, sent to the New World to fight the long-standing enemy of Britain and finding yourself in an area very different than your homeland.
Ask the Ranger about the different tactics they learned from the Native American people who lived here that changed the way war is fought. Tactics that are still in use today with the modern military. Learn the important part women played at the 18th century fortress and entrenched camp. These women kept the army clothed and fed while enduring great hardship.
History is alive at Fort William Henry! Open daily at 9:30 am with guided tours. Military demonstrations at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm. Call 518-668-5471 for more information.
Join us to experience the history, the sights and sounds of the fort during the French and Indian War!
We hope you will visit us and experience the history!