American Revolutionary troops built a fort complex to guard against a British attack from Canada at this site along the Vermont shore of Lake Champlain. The troops named it Mount Independence in honor of the Declaration of Independence. The fort faced north and stood across the lake from the fort at Ticonderoga. The site was evacuated when British General John Burgoyne forced the surrender of Ticonderoga. Today the state of Vermont preserves the site with several miles of hiking trails that lead to the batteries, blockhouses, hospital, barracks, and other archaeological remains of the fort. The visitor center museum contains exhibits featuring many of the artifacts recovered during recent archaeological investigations.
The site is located approximately 50 miles south of Burlington, just west of State Route 22A and the village of Orwell.
Before Vermont was even a state, when it was still a sparsly settled region whose political status was disputed by New York and New Hampshire, Vermonters made two contributions to winning what was probably the most important campaign in the Revolutionary War. As General John Burgoyne advanced south through the Lake Champlain Valley toward Albany, he easily drove American forces out of Fort Ticonderoga, which had been assumed to be the major obstacle in his path. The American army retreated in haste from Ticonderoga toward Hubbardton, Vermont, which then has all of two houses. At Hubbardton, a detachment of the American army joined with some local militia to hold off the British pursuit for several hours. Only the arrival of Hessian reinforcements, and the prospect that the larger British forces would then be able to outflank them, drove the Americans from the field. Hubbardton was the first engagement in the campaign to show Burgoyne’s regulars that American troops could stand up to them in the field. Many of the Americans who fought at Hubbardton were also with General John Stark several weeks later when he inflicted a disastrous defeat on a Hessian detachment at the Battle of Bennington. The Hubbardton Battlefield is now preserved as an historic site by the state of Vermont. A visitor’s reception center houses a museum with exhibits on the battle and the Revolutionary War.
Hubbardton Battlefield is located 7 miles off U.S. Route 4, near East Hubbardton, Vermont.
The American Precision Museum celebrates what came to be known in the nineteenth century as the “American system of manufacturing.” The “American system” made modern mass manufacturing possible by combining great refinements in the division of labor, growing precision in machine tooling, and the use of standardized parts. These three factors made it possible to produce manufactured items of high quality at a cost low enough to market to the mass public. The “American system” first developed during the 1840’s and 1850’s in New England with light metalworking industries, including firearms, clocks, watches, locks, and tools of various kinds. From there it spread to neighboring areas and other industries.
The American Precision Museum is housed in a historic building that was itself part of the new system, the Robbins and Lawrence Armory, a National Historic Landmark that was built in 1846. The armory is a fine example of nineteenth century American industrial architecture. The museum displays examples of mechanical and manufacturing technology from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including some of the interchangeable parts were first produced at the Robbins and Lawrence Armory. The collections also include historic hand and machine tools, guns, sewing machines, typewriters, scale models, measuring devices, and consumer products. A library and resource center are available to students and scholars. The museum also sponsors a variety of activities, including an archaeological excavation at a nearby gristmill site, lectures, demonstrations, and walking tours.
The American Precision Museum is located at 196 Main Street in Windsor, Vermont 05089. Windsor is just off Interstate 91 about 20 miles south of White River Junction, Vermont.