This spring I visited the historical site of Fort Ticonderoga for the first time in the twenty years I’ve lived in upstate New York. The fort isn’t far from my house, about an hour’s drive north through the picturesque foothills of the Adirondack Mountains to the southern end of Lake Champlain, where it sits atop a hillside with a commanding view of the water below. Red tiles set the roof ablaze, and gray stones, still smooth and neatly laid, shape the walls and walkways.
I’ve always loved museums, the stories told by the things they house inside their walls and display cabinets, and the even greater untold mysteries they bring up in my mind. Walking through the fort that day, I couldn’t help but wish I could go back for a bit and see first-hand what life was truly like for people back then.
The world was surely a very different place in many ways, yet I can’t help but believe people themselves weren’t that dissimilar from who they are now. Practical items were still necessary, as were the small treasures and tokens of loved ones and families far away. I found this storage room, filled with the simple odds and ends of everyday life, in the fort to be one of the most memorable for me, helping bring me a little closer to the people who once lived and died there.