One of the North Country's most historic sites has been properly marked again. Two Sackets Harbor Battlefield forts had their plaques disappear decades ago. Elizabeth Jeneault explains how the new dedication is helping preserve all that happened there.
SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. -- Two shiny new plaques now mark where Fort Tompkins and Fort Kentucky once stood.
They hadn't been replaced until now because New York State stopped funding historic roadside markers in 1939.
"There were 2,800 of these roadside plaques done back in the 1920s and 1930s across the state," said Sackets Harbor Battlefield Site Manager Connie Barone.
Because the forts' markers went missing, the site has been without them for decades.
They believe Fort Tompkins' marker may have been lost during construction, while Fort Kentucky's remains a mystery.
"I don't know how the Fort Kentucky roadside plaque disappeared, possibly it was snow-plowed down, who knows," said Barone.
The William G. Pomeroy foundation donated the new plaques. They say marking historical sites benefits villages like Sackets Harbor.
"They provide cultural education, cultural awareness and they help foster historic tourism which in turn can provide a much needed economic benefit to the towns and villages where these markers are placed," said William G. Pomeroy Foundation Executive Director Paula Miller.
A third plaque will soon also make its way to the battlefield, where U.S. troops protected the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario area from the British.
That plaque will correct a big mistake included in one created during the early 1900s which incorrectly stated when the British first invaded the area.
"It's always difficult in documenting history, but we're pretty sure we know a lot about those first and second engagements in 1812 and 1813, so when those plaques were put in the1920s and 1930s, I'm not sure who gave them that information but it was incorrect," said Barone.
A comforting feeling knowing that visitors will soon be able to get the right information, even during off months, when employees and volunteers are not around to answer questions.