Fort Edward lay on the shipping route between New York City and Canada via the Hudson River and Lakes George and Champlain. The British colonial government fortified it in 1755 during the French and Indian War. Patt Smyth came to oversee the fort in 1764, and when it was dismantled in 1772-1773, he salvaged lumber to build this fine house.
In 1777, the British planned to sever New York from New England by occupying the Hudson Valley. When the Continental troops garrisoned Fort Edward in June, Generals Schuyler and Arnold made this house their quarters. They abandoned Fort Edward on July 31st as British General Burgoyne headed south from Lake George. The British troops regrouped at Fort Edward, where Burgoyne and German officer, Friedrich von Riedesel, tool over the house. From here, Burgoyne sent a detachment to Bennington, Vermont, where General John Stark of New Hampshire routed them on August 16th.
Burgoyne ventured west across the Hudson on September 13th, where he was defeated by the Continentals at Saratoga on October 7th. Burgoyne retreated north, giving up the British northern campaign, and Fort Edward returned to American hands. General Stark made Smyth's house his quarters and barricaded it with wooden pickets. Some called it Fort Stark. Smyth sold the house to Washington's surgeon, John Cochran, after he moved to British-occupied New York City in 1780.
Revolutionary War Heritage Trail