Conserving the History of the Mount

This trowel blade was conserved.

A number of metal Revolutionary War artifacts discovered over the decades at the Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell, Vermont, have recently been conserved. This project is thanks to a grant received by the Mount Independence Coalition, the site friends group, from the Lake Champlain Basin Program. 

The conservation work on thirty-one items in various stages of deterioration was conducted by the Lake Champlain Basin Program conservation laboratory in Ferrisburgh, Vermont. Many of the historic objects are fragments of necessary items used by the soldiers at Mount Independence. The project ensures their long-term protection, for future research, exhibition, education, and programming at Mount Independence

Among the significant artifacts are a large kettle fragment with holes that had been patched with lead during the Revolution, shovel and spade blades, a pickaxe head, trowel blade, grape shot, spikes and other fasteners, and the top of a pewter spoon handle engraved with initials and other details. All these objects help tell the story of the lives of the American and later British and German soldiers and some of what it took for them to build and occupy Mount Independence from July 1776 to November 1777.  It is expected some of the items will be on display at Mount Independence in the 2022 season. 

An axe head that likely felled trees at the Mount during the American fortification has been conserved.

Mount Independence, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the best-preserved Revolutionary War sites in America. The site has a museum, with many other artifacts on exhibit, that is open from late May to mid-October, six miles of trails winding past the remains and foundations of buildings and defenses, and scenic views of Lake Champlain. Its story has most recently been told in the book, Strong Ground, written and published in 2017 by the Mount Independence Coalition, available for purchase when the museum is open in the museum shop or online at, following the Strong Ground link.

This project has been funded by an agreement awarded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Mount Independence is located on Mount Independence Road, six miles west of the intersections of VT Routes 22A and 73 near Orwell village. Mount Independence, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the best-preserved Revolutionary War sites in America. It is expected the museum will reopen for the 2022 season in late May. For questions about the site or this project, please call 802-759-2412

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