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“Interesting, But a Visit Requires Patience” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Fort William Henry Museum & Restoration

The Fort William Henry Museum & Restoration
Ranked #4 of 50 things to do in Lake George
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Fort William Henry Museum and Reconstruction is located on the site of the original French and Indian War fort at the south shore of Lake George. Experience how the soldiers fought and died at this wilderness outpost and learn the REAL history behind the surrender and massacre made famous by James Fennimore Cooper's, "Last of the Mohicans". Cannon and musket demonstrations at 10am, 12, 2, 4pm daily. Open May - October.
Warren, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1,077 reviews
656 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,578 helpful votes
“Interesting, But a Visit Requires Patience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2008

Most of us have read James Fenimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans. His novel retells the story of one of the bloodier chapters of North American history – the narrative of the 1757 siege and surrender of Fort William Henry to the forces of New France on the southern shores of Lake George. Fort William Henry Museum recently celebrated the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of the battle.

After the siege and capture of the fort by General Marquis de Moncalm the fort was torched and the fires burned for two days. The glow was visible at Fort Edwards eighteen miles to the south.

Very little remained of the fort – four bastions, a fireplace, a well – and soon nature reclaimed the site which remained undisturbed for many years until businessmen Harry Veeder and Aiden Shaw recognized the coming threat of tourist development. The 28-acre property was purchased in 1953 and the Fort William Henry Corporation was formed. Archeologist Stanley Gifford was hired to head an archeological team and photocopies of original maps, drawings, blueprints, and manuscripts relating to the fort were obtained from British and Canadian archives, the Library of Congress, and the New York State Museum. A systematic approach to the excavations was drawn up based on these records.

What you see today is nearly a total reconstruction. Original features include the remains of the powder room, a few foundation walls, and the well. The display cases and dioramas are dusty and tired and desperately need to be redone, but for those with a sense of adventure and bit of imagination, the place is worth the visit. There are dress-up activities for children and visitors can witness the hourly firing of the cannon from the fort's walls. The gift shop is a paradise of cheesy gifts for children of all ages.

1 Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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542 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Skip this fort!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2008

Fort William Henry is definitely not worth a visit. First of all, it is not at all original. It was built in the 1950s and some of the dusty displays still look like they are from that time. Second, it is terrible from a historical perspective. It doesn't really give any context for the battle of Fort William Henry, and it is totally biased towards the English. Indians are portrayed as savages and their side isn't even explained. And in the gift shop, the souvenirs are tomahawks and feather headdresses made in China! Everything is tacky and worn. Fort William Henry is not worth the very steep $15 price!

2 Thank tridgeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
154 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Interesting place to visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2008

We decided last minute to do this fort while waiting for our steamboat trip. The admission price is much too high, though we did get a AAA discount.
We had an extremely knowledgeable guide who had no problem answering any question...even when it came from small children!
Walking on the top of the fort...on the black roof....in the heat of the day is brutal, but there were little spots of shade you could hide in.
The kids and adults both had a blast.

1 Thank darkkskyzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2007

Just could not justify the price. REally did not seem worth it. Recommend you judge for yourself but check out the gift shop first as a taste of what is inside.

5 Thank adam369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, MN
Level Contributor
110 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Awesome Fort William Henry”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2007

My family of six visited the fort on June 16, 2007. We wanted to visit the fort since my high school son read "Last of the Mohicans" in school. The admission price is a little steep, but we were given a AAA discount. We were then told the time of the next tour and where to go for the start of the tour. In the interim, we were able to look around the museum and other places in the fort. The tour began with a brief film history of the fort, (some cutscenes from the Last of the Mohicans are included which my not be suitable for very young children). Then a member of the Kings Army talked to us about the fort and took us to the top of the fort where he fired off a musket and a cannon.

Later he showed the adults how the musket balls were made as the younger children got to dress up, join the King's Army and pretend to fire a musket. Afterwards, we were allowed to walk around the fort at our leisure to see how life was at the fort. Overall a good and educational time!

3 Thank mellenhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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