Events at the Fort William Henry

From public displays to speaking engagements and seminars, the French & Indian War Society holds many events for the public’s enjoyment and education. All of our events are held at The Fort William Henry Museum.

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2024 Workshop Series

The French & Indian War Society at Lake George, Inc. will sponsor five enrichment workshops at the Fort William Henry Museum and/or the Fort William Henry Conference Center (48
Canada St. Lake George, NY). The program also serves as a fund raiser for the not-for-profit society. Classes are “in person,” no Zoom. Participants shall receive a certificate of attendance. Cost per workshop is $30 ($15 for Society members). No audio or video recording is permitted. Preregistration is required. If there are updates, they will be posted on the society’s web page.

The Material Culture (aka Artifacts) of Fort William Henry Museum, Fascinating Facts About Museums

*Saturday, April 20, 2024 (10 am–1 pm); Instructor: Joseph W. Zarzynski (Maritime Archaeologist) & Guest (TBA); Limited to 15 people
Physical objects fashioned by people are known as material culture. Studying material culture provides a window into the lifeways of people from the past. The workshop will review aspects of handling material culture, museum cataloguing of artifacts, and an examination of several noteworthy artifacts from FWH Museum’s collection to gain insight into the history of the French & Indian War and the soldiers at historic FWH.

Colonial Bateaux and Other 18th Century Warships at Lake George and Nearby Inland Waters of New York

*Saturday, April 27, 2024 (10 am–1 pm); Instructor: Joseph W. Zarzynski (Maritime Archaeologist) & Some research contributed by Dr. Russell P. Bellico (Lake Historian); Limited to 20 people
Bateaux, French for “boats,” were the utilitarian crafts of inland waters for much of North America in the colonial era. The class examines colonial bateaux and other vessels that plied Lake George as well as at nearby NY waterways in the 18th century. The workshop will also inspect a three-quarter scale model of a 1758 bateau “shipwreck” and peruse 18th century vessel pieces from the museum’s collection.

A Primer on Anchors and Recording These Artifacts

*Saturday, May 4, 2024 (10 am–1 pm); Instructor: Joseph W. Zarzynski (Maritime Archaeologist) & Guest (TBA); Limited to 20 people
Early anchors were made of stones, each with a carved hole to receive a line. Later, anchors had an iron shank, two arms, a metal ring to receive a line, and a wooden stock. By the mid19th century, anchors were all of iron. The class includes a primer on anchors and how to archaeologically record them. FWH Museum has 17 anchors, grapnels, and grappling irons.

Basics of Wooden Ship Hull Construction

*Saturday, September 14, 2024 (10 am–1 pm); Instructors: Joseph W. Zarzynski (Maritime Archaeologist) and Bob Baker (Antique Tool Specialist); Limited to 20 people
The dugout canoe is the oldest type of watercraft, dating to over 8,000 years ago. Eventually vessels were fashioned of cut and sawed planks. The workshop will review the history of early watercraft, but the focus will be on wooden ship hull construction of colonial sailing vessels. Participants will also examine bateau and sloop pieces from FWH Museum’s collection to gain insight into the construction of colonial crafts on Lake George.

Understanding the National Register of Historic Places and a Primer on Writing a National Register Nomination

*Saturday, September 28, 2024 (10 am–1 pm); Instructor: Joseph W. Zarzynski (Maritime Archaeologist) & Guest (TBA); Limited to 20 people
The National Register of Historic Places (aka NR) lists over 96,000 properties in the USA. The program was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The class will examine the NR and review the process of preparing NR nominations for structures, floating vessels, shipwrecks, wharves, and other “properties.”

***Use the registration sheet PDF linked below to sign up. Registration ends one week before each workshop.
Possible Future Workshops: Floating Gun Batteries Through the Ages; Examining Vauban Forts (Like FWH); Colonial Bateaux–Antecedents to WW2 Landing Craft; Making a Killick
Anchor; Ships-of-the-Line & Smaller Colonial Warships on the High Seas; and other topics

2024 Workshops Registration