Key North Country battle comes to life this weekend

TICONDEROGA, N.Y. (WCAX) New York's North Country is rich in American history and that is being celebrated this weekend. Fort Ticonderoga is bringing folks back to 1777. Our Kelly O'Brien went to check it out.

You can see the re-enactment of Brown's Raid at Fort Ticonderoga this weekend.

A lot of work goes into planning these re-enactments, starting with the clothing.

"We've got to think little to big, over and over again," said Stuart Lillie of Fort Ticonderoga.

It's your chance to travel back to 1777 for the reenactment of Col. John Brown's raid trying to capture back Fort Ticonderoga from the British.

This battle re-enactment took most of the year to plan and the last month to prep for. It draws more than 350 volunteers and re-enactors to the fort. It takes a lot of research and detail, even down to the pants you'll see re-enactors wear.

"They help inform the overall experience of what it was like to be there," Lillie explained.

The behind-the-scenes of Fort Ticonderoga shows a costume studio full of patterns, cloth and spare tassels to fix anything in a pinch. All the costumes are made and fixed right on site.

"We really want to take the time to bring these details to life," Lillie said.

You can't have a re-enactment without the firearms and artillery; that's where the war room comes into play. It's full of cannons, ammo, bolsters and bags.

Part of the re-enactment is a hands-on experience. The fort wants visitors to get up close and personal with the artillery to get a better understanding of the battle, but they take safety very seriously.

"We actually have a great deal of safety regulations as far as how far or close visitors can be to these guns when they're firing, how close they can come up to a cannon when it's firing," said Nick Spadone of Fort Ticonderoga.

Also part of the two-day re-enactment is a boat tour of the watery battlefield.

"We don't think about it today but the lake was what connected people back then," Lillie said.

The 75-minute tour will take you along the shores of Lake Champlain and show you shipwrecks resting at the bottom of the lake.

"People get a real sense of just how historic, probably the most archaeologically rich section of water in America, just how rich it really is," Lillie said.

The re-enactment kicks off Saturday and you can get your hands dirty with some hands-on exhibits at Fort Ticonderoga.

Click here for more on Fort Ticonderoga and the re-enactment.