Mount Independence (1776) – Colonial Dames Memorial
Orwell, Vermont USA • What did it look like? ☞ See this incredible Mural of Mount Independence 1776-1777, by Ernest Haas.
Mount Independence is a 306 ft (93 m) high hill on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, in the northeastern United States. ∞ It is a Vermont State Historic Site and was the site of Fort Independence, an American revolutionary war fortification built opposite Fort Ticonderoga. Unfortunately both forts were dominated, militarily, by the higher Mount Defiance. – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
In 1776, the military complex at Mount Independence was one of the largest communities in North America. During that historic summer, 12,000 soldiers built a massive fort to defend against an anticipated British attack from the north. The very sight of the combined fortresses at Mount Independence and Ticonderoga caused the British to retreat back to Canada later that fall, giving the Americans a crucial year to prepare for invasion.
Many American troops and staff went home that winter, reducing the force just 2,500. Those remaining were sickly and a number froze to death. By spring of 1777 new troops arrived but not enough to properly garrison the forts. On July 5th they evacuated the site when British General John Burgoyne’s forces overwhelmed the area.
British and German forces remained at Mount Independence until November when they burned and destroyed the site after learning of Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga.
Today, several trails at Mount Independence connect well-preserved remains of the Revolutionary War fortification. The trails pass through nearly three hundred acres of pasture and woodlands with spectacular vistas overlooking Lake Champlain and the surrounding countryside. Some of the trails are wheelchair accessible. – From the website of the Mount Independence State Historic Site.
☞ On September 3, 1971, this site was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#71000079).
☞ On November 28, 1972, the National Park Service designated this site a National Historic Landmark (#71000079).
National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places
designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess
exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the
heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places
bear this national distinction. – [And one of only 17 in Vermont.] – Working with citizens throughout the nation, the National Historic
Landmarks Program draws upon the expertise of National Park Service
staff who work to nominate new landmarks and provide assistance to
National Historic Landmarks are exceptional places. They form a common bond between all Americans. While there are many historic places across the nation, only a small number have meaning to all Americans -- these we call our National Historic Landmarks. – from the National Park Service.
• More info: The GeoHack for 43°49′35″N 73°22′49″W.
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In July, 2010, I started a project to visit and document all seventeen Landmarks in Vermont. Here they are (in order of designation by the National Park Service):
 09/22/60 – JUSTIN S. MORRILL HOMESTEAD, Strafford, Orange County
 01/28/64 – TICONDEROGA (Side-paddle-wheel Lakeboat), Shelburne, Chittenden County
 06/23/65 – CALVIN COOLIDGE HOMESTEAD DISTRICT, Plymouth Notch, Windsor County
 12/21/65 – EMMA WILLARD HOUSE, Middlebury, Addison County
 11/13/66 – ROBBINS AND LAWRENCE ARMORY AND MACHINE SHOP, Windsor, Windsor County
 06/11/67 – GEORGE PERKINS MARSH BOYHOOD HOME, Woodstock, Windsor County
 05/23/68 – ROBERT FROST FARM, Ripton, Addison County
 12/30/70 – VERMONT STATEHOUSE, Montpelier, Washington County
 11/28/72 – MOUNT INDEPENDENCE, Orwell, Addison County
 12/20/89 – STELLAFANE OBSERVATORY, Springfield, Windsor County
 11/04/93 – NAULAKHA (Rudyard Kipling House), Dummerston, Windham County
 06/19/96 – OLD ROUND CHURCH, Richmond, Chittenden County
 06/19/96 – ST. JOHNSBURY ATHENAEUM, St. Johnsbury, Caledonia County
 12/09/97 – ROKEBY, Ferrisburgh, Addison County
 05/16/00 – ROCKINGHAM MEETING HOUSE, Windham County
 05/16/00 – SOCIALIST LABOR PARTY HALL, Barre, Washington County
 01/03/01 – SHELBURNE FARMS, Shelburne, Chittenden County
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☞ More photos of this and other National Historical Landmarks.