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!
Attend the Commemoration of the US entry into World War I on April 6, 2017, 10:30am, at the Fort Caswell Rifle Range in Caswell Beach, NC. Click below to view the flyer.
WWI Centennial Commemoration Flyer
Local artist and Caswell Beach Commissioner Marti Hardy created and donated a total of four striking stained glass and mosaic art pieces for past Kentucky Derby fundraisers.
The first two are pictured below.
Marti is holding Beach Parade, a table display of swimming fish mounted on driftwood that Marti discovered on Caswell Beach, while Joan Van Noordt is holding Bunker Serenity, an abstract piece depicting the rifle range and surrounding landscape.
The remaining two, created and donated the following year, include At Peace with Nature, a stained glass design showing part of the rifle range wall surrounded by trees with a squirrel resting on the wall, and a red-headed woodpecker on the side of a tree. The scene is drastically different from what the area might have looked like almost 100 years ago, surrounded by the military engaged in marksmanship, noise everywhere. Marti chose a serene setting for her work, keeping the focus on history, showing the peacefulness of the area by including animals in their habitat.
Her focus for the mosaic is The Yellow Belly Fish of Caswell Beach. It has a yellow belly and is surrounded by seaweed as it floats through the water. The fish has an orange tail with neutral colored fins and gills.
The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range earned $600 through Marti’s stained glass pieces.
Thank you, Marti, for these gorgeous treasures!
To read more details on the stained glass piece and auction, see newspaper articles: