This historic fort in Lake George, New York was built by the British in 1755 during the French and Indian War. Built on the southern end of Lake George (previously known as “Lac du Saint Sacrament”), the fort stood in what was then, a vast wilderness. From Fort William Henry, the British could stage ground attacks against French entrenchments and protect important inland waterways.
Siege and Massacre
On August 3, 1757, French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm began a siege of Fort William Henry with 3,000 French regulars, 3,000 militia, and 2,000 Native Americans. Inside the British fort, Lt. Col George Monro did his best to defend with about 2,300 men, but by August 9th, Monro was forced to surrender. In surrendering, the British were to be allowed to return south to Fort Edward, but the Native American allies to the French did not observe the terms. On the morning of August 10th, Native American warriors attacked the retreating column and massacred up to 200 people.
After taking the fort, the French destroyed it and its ruins lay untouched for nearly 200 years. In the 1950s, a group of businessmen bought the site to protect it from development. Excavations were performed and the fort was reconstructed in its original footprint.