WALLOOMSAC, N.Y. -- The Washington County Historical Society and New York's Lakes Locks held a grand opening and trail dedication of the "Road to the Battle of Bennington" on Saturday at the Bennington Battlefield state historic site on N.Y. Route 67.
Dr. Michael Gabriel, the author of "The Battle of Bennington: Soldiers and Civilians," gave a presentation at the site as part of New York's "Path Through History Weekend" after the inauguration of an interpretive driving route from Fort Edward.
"Bennington is a very historic spot. It really should be much more remembered," Gabriel said. "Because of Bennington we get Saratoga and because of Saratoga, you certainly see the origins of the United States and the winning of the Revolutionary War."
The interpretive trail will eventually be a part of a Global Positioning Satellite-guided route using a mobile device application, which tracks the ill-fated excursion of German Dragoon Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum and the events that unfolded between Fort Edward to the Bennington battlefield. See http://bit.ly/1k4ejKi to learn more.
Gabriel said it's important to recognize the contributions of the German involvement with the Revolutionary War British loyalists, which is what the historical route pays homage to.
"On this day after D-day, the 70th anniversary, it's fitting to think about the veterans here at Bennington from New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and what they accomplished," Gabriel said. "We should also remember the loyalists that were here. Perhaps they were on the wrong side and poor Baum who was in unfamiliar territory."
About 60 people went along the guided tour to the battlefield, either in their cars with an interpretive history given by a Compact Disc, or by bus with Gabriel giving a history lesson along the way. A second bus took 35 members of the Air National Guard along the tour and trail dedication events.
Steve Mueller of Greenwich and Christy Gullie of Clifton Park took the driving tour together by car. They made arrangements for the guided tour after reading about it in the paper. "I thought it was much better than just trying to read it from a map. The CD was a huge addition to the project. Now if they can do it with an app in your phone: Even better," Mueller said.
To help commemorate the trail dedication, the historical society asked Brown's Brewing Company of Troy, N.Y. to recreate a traditional 15th-Century (German) Braunschweigers Mumme ale for tour attendees to enjoy with their lunch at the battlefield. The Mumme ale was a beer likely consumed by Germans and Baum's men in the 18th Century. Similar to a brown ale, the spicy seven-botanical beer variety was a beer that could withstand the journey across the atlantic ocean when dragoon troops traveled to assist the loyalists in New England.
Brewer Dan Cramer produced a small batch of the beer especially for the event.
"I imagine this is a little bit better than what they had back then just because of what they had access to and what little they knew in the science behind brewing," he said.
For Lakes to Lock's fully gathered history of Baum's expedition, visit http://www.lakestolocks.org/ content_detail.php?uid=ltl9427411ECA72E233D.
Contact Tom Momberg at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg.