News from the Site Administrator

The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation thanks the Mount Independence Coalition for its longstanding firm commitment of supporting the Mount Independence State Historic Site. The site is delighted every season to welcome Mount Independence Coalition members and everyone benefits from your sponsorship of many special programs.

With the Coalition’s help we tried a new program at the end of the 2018 season—Muster at the Mount: A Day of Revolutionary Discovery. It was a day for attendees to immerse themselves in the history of Mount Independence and the many ways to learn about it. We would like to try such a day every other year and are working on some ideas for 2020. Stay tuned and save the date—likely October 17, 2020.

The South Lake Champlain Fund provided grants in 2018 and 2019 for the spring archaeology day. The past two years volunteers and two professional archaeologists covered by the grant have concentrated on detailed mapping of the southern battery # 1 (just beyond the parking lot). Documenting the archaeological features of the site is a top priority in our cultural resource management plan. 

The annual Soldiers Atop the Mount event, in late August or early September, with reenactors is getting more and more interesting. Saturday’s “Baldwin Trail Walkabout” offers experts at six stations around the trail, to talk with you or offer a special activity relating to that location or a special point of the Mount’s history. Visitors and the experts alike find it a most enjoyable experience. The 2020 event will be August 29 and 30. 

The site has created three short “videos” about Mount Independence that can be seen on YouTube. Thanks to Stephen Zeoli for uploading them.

2018 Soldiers Atop the Mount

Making Fascines with Sergeant Crannell

Wild about Mount Independence (spring flowers)

At the November 2019 annual New England Museum Association conference, I gave a well-received illustrated presentation, “A New Twist on Living History & Visitor Engagement: A Case Study at Chimney Point & Mount Independence State Historic Sites.” How do we make history come alive for visitors when our highly significant historic site is largely an archaeological site? What are interpretive options when much of the landscape’s history is evident only through the observation of subtle archaeological features?  I used the Chimney Point atlatl competition and Soldiers Atop the Mount and how we use the historic and archaeological record to put creative twists on living history and experimental archaeology to engage and excite visitors.

We look forward to seeing you in 2020.  The site will be open from Saturday, May 23, to Sunday, October 11.


Elsa Gilbertson
Regional Historic Site Administrator

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