Posted at: 08/09/2012 5:46 PM
| Updated at: 08/09/2012 6:15 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
LAKE GEORGE - Fort William Henry was Lake George long before para-sailing and tourists.
It was here at the southern end of this majestic lake that the British guarded against the French and Indian soldiers attacking from the north.
But by August 9, 1757, the British were vastly outnumbered and couldn't defend the fort any longer. They had to surrender to the French General Marquis de Montcalm.
A re-enactment was held Thursday, 255 years ago to the day of the surrender. As the unarmed British left the fort, they were attacked by Native American Indians. Women and children were captured or killed. It was a massacre that rallied the British and the colonists.
"It just galvanized the British side, galvanized the colonies. They wanted to make this land their own," said Dr. David Starbuck, an archaeologist who has dug at the site of the original Fort William Henry for six years. His discoveries have brought to life the battles and the people who fought and died here.
Historians are upgrading the museum to include exhibits on underwater discoveries and military crypts. They say it's important for all of us to know about the events that took place here. Even if it was 255 years ago.
"The massacre at Fort William Henry is the most famous or infamous atrocity, horror show of the French and Indian War," said Starbuck.