Part 4 of a 4 Part Series
In Part 1, Rise to Greatness, the aspects creating an extraordinary small town are discovered, from the townspeople to the allure and exclusivity enjoyed by affluent visitors. Part 2 explores the grim outlook of Ticonderoga Today, and additional challenges affronting the town. In Part 3, Birthplace of the Alliance reveals the resolute people behind the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance who are fervidly working to find a progressive solution to the town’s dilemma. The last installment of this series, What Sets Us Apart, dissects and explores the reasons and resources of why the town can be successful in its revitalization, providing hope and a blueprint for other small towns.
THE TICONDEROGA STORY – PART 4
What Sets Us Apart
In Ticonderoga, we have a reasonable chance at making the cut and, many say, serving as a successful model for other parts of the North Country — principally because we understand these issues and, thereby, the goals that must be set. We are not intimidated by our smallness in population. A key to our success will be our ability to re-value and leverage our natural capital and our vacant real estate to create a vibrant tourist destination anchored by an entrepreneurial backbone and academic links aimed at attracting the higher paying jobs.
Also, our approach to revitalization appears to be different in a handful of profound ways:
(1) It includes a powerful citizen’s movement at its heart,
(2) supported, initially, by its principle corporate citizens,
(3) dependent, in the long run, on a kind of market discipline through the use of public/private partnerships, whereby private investors and operating partners are incented to drive the financial and operating components of the individual projects,
(4) where increased diversity and substantially expanded academic links to the community have become essential revitalization strategies and
(5) where the “footprint” is broad enough and capable of being expanded further to assure real reform.
The dilemma of Ticonderoga shows us the flaws and holes existing in the fabric making up our society. With the continued economic state, this is becoming more and more of a common thread binding the human spirit together. Ticonderoga is the looking glass of our nation’s heart: its will to survive easily outweighs its empty coffers.
That’s how hope works. It was a fortress of hope for citizens during a grim time of war, and now with financial turmoil threatening its existence, the town of Ticonderoga calls upon the strength of character that helped secure our nation in its humble and tumultuous beginning. Embodying the fortitude portrayed in James Fennimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans, Ticonderoga, too, will fight to survive. Believing in something gives rise to the spirit lying dormant in humankind. So, pondering the story of Ticonderoga, does it take “new blood” for a town to come back from the brink of extinction? Or have those at the Alliance formulated an anecdote for the resuscitation of our small towns across the nation: spirit, fortitude, and a willful defiance not to fade away from future history?
The alliance has produced video interviews with residents and alliance members alike so that you can hear about their experience and fascinating stories first hand. This is Debra Malaney, Supervisor of the town of Ticonderoga. Below is part one of a three part interview. Visit the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance website to watch the other part, the other interviews, and to see the incredible photographs and other inspiring features.
Interviews conducted and produced by Josh Clement. Contact Josh here.
State of the Re:Union would like to thank Alex Levitch for contacting us, and the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance for sharing their history and stories with our audience. This extraordinary group of citizens rallied together to revitalize and reinvent their town, illustrating just how powerful a determined community can be.
Tell us your thoughts on Ticonderoga and the TRA’s efforts in the comment box below.