French and Indian War Tour

When:  September 7–14, 2019
Where:  New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland
Cost:   $1,895 per person ($295 single supplement)

Join us as we travel across New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland to explore the rich history and archaeology of the French and Indian War. This epic struggle involving Native Americans, the English and French Empires, and Colonial forces, was one of the first global conflicts and a defining moment in American history. On our journey we will meet with historians, archaeologists and native people at a variety of archaeological sites, museums, and interpretive centers.

Saturday, September 7
Join us in Buffalo, New York for a welcoming reception and a kick-off lecture by noted archaeologist, Dr. Charles Vandrei.

Sunday, September 8
We’ll start our exploration of the landscape where this conflict transpired with an introduction to native lifeways and Iroquois material culture at the 17th century Seneca site of Ganondagan. Here we will tour a full-size replica of a Seneca Bark Longhouse and explore the newly constructed Seneca Art and Culture Center. We will then head east to the magnificent reconstruction of Fort Stanwix, an 18th century fort used during the French and Indian and the Revolutionary Wars. Now a National Monument and Park, the area containing the fort was extensively excavated in the 1970s. From Fort Stanwix we will make our way to historic Johnstown where we will spend the night.

Monday, September 9
We’ll travel to Fort Ticonderoga which was originally built by the French in 1756.  The British made two attempts to capture the fort, the first ended in defeat in 1758 and the second was a successful siege in 1759. The fort was also the site of the first American victory during the Revolutionary War. The Fort Ticonderoga Association preserves 2,000 acres of battlefields and historic sites around the fort and interprets life at the fort through costumed guides, historic demonstrations and exhibits. From Fort Ticonderoga we will travel to the site of Crown Point which contains impressive ruins of French and British forts which once occupied this strategic peninsula on Lake Champlain and has been subject to extensive archaeology by the State of New York.  We will conclude the day’s travel with a trip to the picturesque village of Lake George where we will spend the night near its many historic attractions.

Tuesday, September 10
We will begin the day with a trip to Roger’s Island at Fort Edward which was the site of the largest British military complex during the French and Indian War.  The complex included Fort Edward, the Royal Blockhouse (now a Conservancy Preserve) and Rogers Island, which was the base for Roger’s Rangers and the birthplace of the U.S. Army Rangers.  Dr. David Starbuck, archaeologist and French and Indian War scholar, will be on hand to discuss the history of the area and the archaeology of Rogers Island. We will then travel to the Iroquois Indian Museum near the town of Howes Cave to help gain a Native American perspective on the conflict. The museum has exhibits of Native art and has been constructed in the form of an Iroquoian longhouse. From there, we will travel through the valleys which formed the western frontier of colonial Pennsylvania on our way to Scranton where we will spend the night.

 Wednesday, September 11
We will begin the day with Dr. Kurt Carr, Senior Curator of Archaeology for the Pennsylvania State Museum. The museum has exhibits and collections including artifacts from excavations at several French & Indian War sites. Weather permitting, we will enjoy our lunch at the site of Fort Hunter which has undergone excavations by the PA State Museum for several years. From Harrisburg we will travel south into Maryland to visit the recontructed Fort Frederick. The fort, said to be one of the best preserved stone forts from the period, guarded the Cumberland Valley and Potomac River from Native American raiding parties. The day will conclude with a short trip to Rocky Gap State Park outside of Cumberland, Maryland where we will spend the night at the Rocky Gap Casino and Resort along picturesque Lake Habeeb.

Thursday, September 12
We will continue to follow the path George Washington took in 1754 to the western frontier. We will explore the National Historic Battlefield of Fort Necessity where archaeology has been used to better understand and interpret the site. From Ft. Necessity we will travel on to visit Fort Ligonier, the most elaborate outpost General John Forbes had constructed as part of his expedition to capture Fort Duquesne. We will tour the reconstructed fort as well as the museum’s extensive collections. We will round out the day with a trip to the Fort Pitt Museum, operated by the Heinz History Center, which occupies the strategic spot at the Forks of the Ohio River.  This location, now Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh, played a pivotal role in the French and Indian War. From there it is but a few minutes to our hotel.

Friday, September 13
Our final day together will include a drive along the shores of Lake Erie as we make our way to the Niagara Frontier. We will briefly visit the American side of Niagara Falls to enjoy this breathtaking site before we continue on to tour scenic Fort Niagara. Standing on a bluff above Lake Ontario, Fort Niagara has dominated the entrance to the Niagara River since 1726. The fort played an important role in the struggles of France, Great Britain, and the United States to control the Great Lakes region of North America, and also helped shape the destinies of the Iroquois (Six Nations) peoples and the nation of Canada. We will return to Buffalo to conclude the tour.

Saturday, September 14
Participants depart for home.

Tour Details:

Cost includes first-class hotel accommodations based on double occupancy (single supplement is $295), lunches, happy hours, expert Conservancy and special guides, admittance fees, tips, tours, orientations, background reading, and surface travel via air-conditioned bus with restroom.  Not included are meals other than lunches and travel to and from Buffalo.

To join us on this tour, or for further information, contact us at or by phone at (505) 266-1540.

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