Saturday & Sunday, Aug. 26-27—ORWELL—On Aug. 26 and 27, the Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell will host the annual Soldiers Atop the Mount living history weekend honoring the 240th anniversary of the 1777 Northern Campaign of the American Revolution.
The historic ground of Mount Independence will be brought back to life with activities related to Revolutionary-era medicine, gunsmithing, the military road and supplies, the Mount’s role in preparing Benedict Arnold’s fleet on Lake Champlain, garrison strength and much more. The soldiers’ camp opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with the Baldwin Trail walkabout from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Strong Ground 5K Walk, benefiting the Mount Independence Coalition’s education and special programs, is back for the second year on Saturday. Registration starts at 10 a.m. The $20 fee includes a t-shirt, admission to Soldiers Atop the Mount and a simple lunch in the picnic area. Call 802-948-2000 to pre-register.
The annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, for which the Mount is named, begins on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Re-enactors will lead visitors up the hill to a special tactical event and members of Warner’s Regiment will demonstrate a changing of the guard and more in the Southern Battery. Site interpreter and historian Paul Andriscin offers an illustrated lecture on “Reasons for Revolution” on Saturday and “The Northern Campaign” on Sunday, both at 3:30 p.m.
Event admission is $6 for adults (free for children under 15) and includes access to the museum. Beverages and light snacks are available for purchase in the museum shop.
American forces built Mount Independence in 1776 and 1777 to defend New England and Lake Champlain from the British enemy in Canada. On the nights of July 5 and 6, 1777, the American Army Northern Department withdrew from Mount Independence and Fort Ticonderoga, as British Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne attempted to split New England off from the rest of the United States. Following the Battle of Hubbardton on July 7, the British and Germans occupied Mount Independence until November.
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 a museum and six miles of hiking trails. It is open daily through Oct. 15, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more information, call 802-948-2000 or visit historicsites.vermont.gov.