paper, 127 p., $29.95
The fascinating history of Fort Ticonderoga and its surroundings comes alive in this excellent book, which describes the past three centuries around this very historic locale near Lake Champlain, on the border between New York and Vermont. Gardens and matters botanic were always part of life around the Fort, from French and British military occupations in the 18th century through tourist restorations over the course of the last century. The author describes the early history of the Fort and the initial interest and investments by the Pell family in the course of the 19th century. At the start of the 20th century, with the organization of the Ticonderoga Historical Society, preservation and conservation efforts were initiated in earnest (and flourish to this day).
The Fort was reconstructed and opened as a public museum, and the restoration of the King's Garden was taken up by Marian Cruger Coffin, one of the few women with her own landscape architecture firms a century ago. She took her cues from the work of Edith Wharton, Charles Platt and Gertrude Jekyll, creating one of the most popular gardens at the time in the Northeast. With the rising popularity of the automobile after World War II, Fort Ticonderoga increasingly became a destination for those interested in history and scenery. Happily, continued efforts have restored Coffin's work within the context of the entire historical setting of the site. A Favorite Place of Resort for Strangers: The King's Garden at Fort Ticonderogadocuments all of these efforts in descriptive prose, enlightened with numerous photographs and historic illustrations. For those interested in historic gardens and sites, this book will provide a chronicle of the efforts of generations in making history live well into the future.
— Edward J. Valauskas, Manager, Library and Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden