Star News recently interviewed Norma and Ron Eckard about the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range and the stabilization efforts. Read the July 16 article and view the photo gallery: Couple leads effort to save Fort Caswell Rifle Range
To read a detailed history of the stabilization effort, click the STABILIZATION selection at the top of the website. The stabilization journal begins in 2011, then flows into the more recent developments that are continuously updated on this blog.
The State Port Pilot featured the two Brunswick County historical sites included in the Most Threatened Historic Places List for 2017. Read the article from July 12: Cemetery, rifle pit among endangered sites
Note that these and all published articles about the Fort Caswell Rifle Range can be found by clicking the NEWS selection at the top of the website.
The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range appreciates the support of the local media!
Attorney Gregory Kleva offered pro bono assistance to begin the process of forming a non-profit organization dedicated to stabilizing the rifle range. The work he completed with the NC Department of the Secretary of State and the filing fee he paid enabled us to complete the subsequent paperwork with the IRS in 2015 to achieve 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
Greg practices law at Geddings & Kleva, PLLC Attorneys at Law on Oak Island. Read more about Greg at https://www.gkclawfirm.com/attorneys.html
We thank Gregory Kleva for his valuable legal assistance and generosity!
For the second year, Fort Caswell Rifle Range was chosen as one of the most threatened historic places in the Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region.
For more information about the 2017 list as well as a description and picture of each, see http://www.historicwilmington.org/national-preservation-month/
Media announcing the list:
Star News Online:
Kenan House among ‘Most Threatened’ landmarks
New sites added to list of Most Threatened Historic Places
Bo and Sydney Grove
Bo and Sydney Grove have been tireless supporters of the stabilization of the rifle range since 2011. They volunteered at the Kentucky Derby fundraisers, contributed all of their winnings, contributed more, donated the sign in the photo above, and continue to contribute while no longer living in the Caswell Dunes community. Their “Can Do” attitude formed a strong foundation of support instrumental in the forward progress made.
Read Bo and Sydney’s own words expressing why they feel such a connection to the Fort Caswell Rifle Range:
“Our interest in the rifle butts is twofold. We spent a career — 32 years — in the Air Force. So we both have a general interest in military things. But the real driving force behind our interest was Sidney’s father, Lt Col Joseph J Tavern, a career marine who was killed during World War II in an airplane accident. He was a marksman of some renown. His last assignment before his death was as the commander of the Rifle Range at Parris Island. With that background, we couldn’t help being interested in doing something with the rifle butts at Caswell Dunes.”
We are fortunate to have your involvement, Bo and Sidney, and thank you most heartily!
The Fort Caswell Rifle Range Derby Day fundraiser and Commemoration of US Involvement in World War I were recently featured in several publications. More links will be added soon.
The National Centennial flag is admired by some of the valuable volunteers that recently worked at the Derby fundraiser. Pictured are: (Left to right) Helen Radcliffe, Betsy Hamer, Jayne Rankin, Norma Eckard, Connie Hendrix and Dianna Suttle. The centennial flag will continue to be used at future events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War 1.
The North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution newsletter for the month of May, (courtesy of The Tar Heel Patriot, Patricia Poe, Editor), included four pages dedicated to the recent commemoration and a feature on the rifle range. Read the pages here.
A reprint of the story in the DAR newsletter about the commemoration was also printed in the Brunswick Beacon last week. (http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/ A subscriber login is required to read archived issues.)
Norman Sprinthall’s letter to the editor to Star News was published on Thursday, May 11. It’s the second letter on this page.
Thank you, Norman and the DAR for supporting the stabilization of our rare and valuable piece of World War I history!
Thanks to numerous volunteers, 65 attendees, and many donations, the Derby Day fundraiser net $2778.50 to the stabilization fund.
The interior and exterior of the Caswell Dunes clubhouse was decked out with patriotic red, white and blue. The flags of France, Britain, and the US waved in the wind on the deck where guests gathered. Also featured was the National World War I Centennial Flag that will be used in future commemoration events during the next year and a half.
The table top horse races brought cheers for horses with names such as Pershing, Red Baron, Marne, and “Over There.” A Military Moment was given before each race by Carl Mauney, a World War I re-enactor from Pennsylvania who graciously educated everyone at the commemoration last month. Attendees’ ancestors who served in the war were highlighted during this time. Norman Sprinthall gave a brief history of the US preparation and involvement in World War I, and Taps was played. Funds were raised in other activities and games, and particularly in the Silent Auction, using donated items from merchants and members of the community.
Anyone wishing to become a part of the planning for next year’s Derby fundraiser should email firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a donation click on the donate button on the website.
More news of the event will be posted soon. Thank you for your support!
In the news: Derby Day event for rifle pit May 6
courtesy of The State Port Pilot
Since 2013, the Kentucky Derby has been a backdrop to the annual fundraiser for the stabilization of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range. The event consists of tabletop horse races, contests, door prizes, dinner, and culminates in the viewing of the Kentucky Derby.
Last year, a World War I Wall of Honor was assembled to honor relatives of locals [and beyond] who served in World War I with photographs, clippings and other memorabilia.
Click to view the virtual Wall of Honor.
This year’s Derby Day Fundraiser is May 6, 2:30pm until 7:00pm. To purchase tickets to attend, donate prizes, or sponsor tabletop horses, email email@example.com.
Go to Derby Day Fundraiser: May 2017 for daily updates. There is also a permanent link to the Derby Day 2017 page after you click on the Fundraising tab at the top of the website.
Many people from the surrounding area attended the Commemoration on Saturday, April 8, 2017. To read more, see World War I Commemoration Ceremony. There is also a permanent link to the commemoration page after you click on the WWI tab at the top of the website.
Another story can be found at http://darbrunswicktownchapter.blogspot.com/
For those interested in more information about World War I, a new exhibit has opened at the North Carolina Museum of History that includes artifacts and life-sized trenches. The exhibit will last two years. Read more about the fascinating exhibit and the World War I ceremony that was recently held at the state capitol in Raleigh at Centennial of US entry into WWI puts ‘Great War’ in focus.
Due to the weather, the Commemoration of the US entry into World War I will now be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 11:00am, at the Fort Caswell Rifle Range in Caswell Beach, NC. Click below to view the flyer.
WWI Centennial Commemoration Flyer
Read more in the following article,
courtesy of The State Port Pilot. http://stateportpilot.com/
World War I ceremony planned April 6
Local artist Helen Radcliffe, shown here in her Kentucky Derby apparel, dedicated many hours planning and finding the best views of the rifle range, and finally selected the photograph to produce this beautiful watercolor painting of the rifle pit.
The original painting is displayed on the wall in the Caswell Dunes Clubhouse.
The image was used to create mouse pads, magnets, note cards, and prints which have been sold to raise funds for the stabilization project. Helen received no compensation for her efforts.
In addition, Helen has spent many hours pursuing donations from local businesses for items and services to offer in the silent auction at the Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser. She also manages the silent auction event. For two years, she offered a silent auction item – to the winning bidder, an original painting of their home.
A former art teacher at The Children’s Home in Winston-Salem and Curator of Education at Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Helen now shares her talent with the community. Her artwork featuring the Oak Island Lighthouse is currently displayed in Caswell Beach Town Hall.
Thank you, Helen, for the gift of this everlasting image to our community!