Revolutionary War artifacts from Mt. Independence conserved

THE BEFORE PHOTOGRAPH of a trowel blade from the Revolutionary War at Mount Independence State Historic Site. Photo courtesy of Mount Independence

THE AFTER PHOTOGRAPH of the same trowel blade.
Photo courtesy of Mount Independence

ORWELL — A number of metal Revolutionary War artifacts discovered over the decades at the Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell have recently been conserved. This project is thanks to a grant received by the Mount Independence Coalition, the site friends group, from the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

The conservation work on 31 objects in various stages of deterioration was conducted by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum conservation laboratory in Ferrisburgh thanks to a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program. Many of the historic objects are fragments of necessary items used by the soldiers at Mount Independence. The project ensures their long-term protection, for future research, exhibition, education and programming at Mount Independence.

Among the significant artifacts are a large iron kettle fragment with holes patched with lead during the Revolution, shovel and spade blades, a pickaxe head, trowel blade, grape shot, spikes and other fasteners, and the top of a pewter spoon handle engraved with initials and other details. These objects help tell the story of the lives of the American and later British and German soldiers and some of what it took to build and occupy Mount Independence from July 1776 to November 1777. It is expected selected items will be on display at Mount Independence in the 2022 season.


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