In 1876, the year of the nation’s centennial, bragging rights to Best Fourth in the North, as the local celebration is known in the contemporary era, went to Rogers Rock Hotel, not downtown Ticonderoga.
“The proprietors and guests of this charming place on Lake George vied with each other in celebrating the Centennial Fourth of July, and we doubt whether at another point on the lake it was more appropriately honored than at Historic Rock,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on July 7, 1876. “The hotel was beautifully decorated with flags, evergreens, and emblems, and at night was brilliantly illuminated.”
An afternoon ceremony in the hotel’s drawing room included singing of “My Country Tis of Thee” and “The Star Spangled Banner,” reading of the Declaration of Independence, recitation of an original Centennial hymn, a speech, and singing of the “Doxology.”
“Everybody was in a joyous mood, and the first day of the second century was observed as it should be according to Elder Adams’ advice of a hundred years ago.”
Fireworks were shot off from the summit of Rogers Rock in the evening.
It was relatively quiet in downtown Ticonderoga that day.
“The streets seemed almost deserted, many having gone to Glens Falls, to Brandon, and some to Burlington, while a few, intent on a quiet day, went to Lake George and chowdered,” the Sentinel reported. “All the patriotic small boys who could score up a few nickels invested in firecrackers, and an occasional lonesome explosion was heard throughout the day.”
In the evening, the Fort Ticonderoga Hotel hosted a social dance.
In other July 7, 1876 Ticonderoga Sentinel news:
On stage — “Professor Aziza will give one of his pleasing magical, musical and ventriloquist entertainments at Weed’s Hall tonight. The price of admission has been placed at the low price of 25 cents (the equivalent of $7.18 in 2023 dollars).”
Farewell — “That trusty employee of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, E.A. Northrup, has been sent to Saratoga by his company where he is to serve in the responsible capacity of freight cashier. … Though we regret Mr. N’s departure, we heartily congratulate him on his appointment and the company on their wise selection.”
Outdated science — “One of the latest and most remarkable teachings of astronomical science is that the moon, when full, is so intensely hot that no creature known to us could long endure her heated surface.”
Click here to read the most recent previous 19th century Ti post.