Danger was as much a part of the 18th century life in rural north-eastern New York as hard and tedious work. Native American tribes, often deeply resentful of intrusion upon their lands, occasionally carried out vengeful raids. In the decades before the American Revolution the British and the French armies, both seeking sovereignty, engaged each other in desperate clashes.
Unfortunately, families were often caught in the midst of the turmoil. Some communities sought safety by eriecting sturdy log blockhouses in which tehy could quickly gather to fend off enemies.
The Stillwater Blockhouse is historically unique. It was built in part with timbers from Revolutionary War era sturctures once standing within what is now Saratoga National Historic Park, in Stillwater. It replicates the early 18th century blockhouses of the region, but was actually built in 1927 as New York State turned the site of the American Revolution's 1777 "Turning Point Battles" into a historical park.
The Blockhouse at the Battlefield, was a popular attraction used primarily as a visitor center-museum. Later, a new and larger visitor center-museum was erected an park officials eventually decided in 1975 to donate the Blockhouse to the Town of Stillwater.
Today, the Stillwater Blockhouse stands in a small park on a notably scenic section of the Hudson River, and is dedicated to local history. At different times during the colonial period, two historic forts and a blockhouse stood watch on nearby sites. Today's visitors can view the "loopholes" that allow shooting straight down upon the enemy, cannon and exhibits that highlight life and conflict in the 18th century.
Local history is a part of the newly-reopened Blockhouse and an interepter welcomes visitors. It is operated by by the non-profit "Blockhouse Committee" and volunteers.