Category Archives: Event

Report on NC 4th of July Festival Booth

On Tuesday, July 3rd, at the Southport, NC River Front Park on Bay Street during the three day NC July 4th Festival in Southport, the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range set up their Community Non-Profit Spotlight Booth.

Russ Barlowe (Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range VP) sat in a patriotic setting with a red, white and blue banner displayed across the front of a table. “Help save the rifle range” and “Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran” were clearly visible.

Russ was dressed in patriotic clothing under a bright red umbrella with a table covered in stars and stripes to answer questions about the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range, dedicated to preserving the WWI rifle range located on Caswell Beach. Dana Majernik and Cindy Harriet Etchison assisted during the 4 hours as people visited the booth asking questions about the rifle range and where it was located.

Visitors honored Brunswick County World War I soldiers by making a donation, then receiving a certificate and NC WWI Service Card with the soldier’s military information. Note cards featuring Helen Radcliffe’s water color of the rifle range and 5 X 7 prints were available for purchase. Individuals made contributions and received a pamphlet telling the historical story of the 100 year old structure. Cards with information on how to contact the Friends group were given to visitors.

Each year the Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce offers one local non profit each day of the celebration to share their story. The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range thank the chamber for the opportunity to be featured this year.

Several donations were received to honor a Brunswick County WWI veteran:
Robert & Pamela Schottfeld: Fireman First Class Charles Cox
Susan & Vincent Mercurio: Private Joseph Clemmons
Lori & Dave Testa: Private Lawrence Smith
Russ & Ann Barlowe: Private James Fair
Dana Majernik: Private Julius Clemmons

Thank you for the donations!

See the updated Contributors page and the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran: Donors for all of our wonderful supporters!

Comments Off on Report on NC 4th of July Festival Booth

Filed under Event, Honor a Veteran

Booth at the 2018 NC 4th of July Festival in Southport

Visit Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range VP Russ Barlowe and other Representatives on

Tuesday, July 3, at Waterfront Park

in the Community Non-Profit Spotlight Booth from 11:00am – 5:00pm.

Available at the booth:
  • Notecards for sale, 5 for $5.00, featuring Helen Radcliffe’s gorgeous watercolor of the rifle range.
  • 5×7 prints for sale, $12.00
  • Certificates to Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran for a donation.
  • Pamphlets about the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range
  • Business cards
  • Forms to support the rifle range
  • Information about various events from past and future by the non-profit, which can be found on this website:
    • Recitation of Brunswick County WWI veterans at commemorations throughout the year
    • Designation as a National WWI Centennial Memorial
    • Onsite memorial plans
    • Book to be published (names are being collected of those interested in purchasing the book)

For more information about the festival, visit http://www.nc4thofjuly.com/
Events calendar and map here.

Comments Off on Booth at the 2018 NC 4th of July Festival in Southport

Filed under Event, Exhibit, Honor a Veteran

The Final Derby Day Fundraiser

The fundraiser was a great success.

Thanks to the special volunteers, donors, business donors, and supporters of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range, the fundraiser was full of fun and a success at raising money to continue with the stabilization.

Supporters arrived, with many dressed for the Derby. Prizes were given later in the day for costumes and hats.

Volunteers registered those attending, sold dinner tickets, and offered both Kentucky Derby tickets and tabletop race tickets during the day.

During the festivities, an uninvited visitor (small alligator) watched from outside.

Ten members of Brunswick Town Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and supporters of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range, attended.

One corner was a reminder of those we honor as we save the historic structure in the neighborhood. The Doughboy Wall was overflowing with Brunswick County WWI Veteran names; next to it, the insignias of their divisions and special units could be viewed. This is a copy of a recruiting poster from 1919.

The new baskets for silent auction were appreciated by all who attended. Helen Radcliffe, pictured here in her Derby attire, watches pensively as attendees look at goodies in the baskets she created. Helen’s hard work resulted in a big boost to the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range. This table displayed many baskets; however, the entire room was overflowing with them!

More items for sale, made by a distant supporter of the rifle range.

The tabletop races were enjoyed by all.

Dinner and cake was served before the official Kentucky Derby.

The thermometer is going to need an update soon!

We’ll be sharing our thanks to volunteers, donors, and local businesses in the coming days. Thank you!

Comments Off on The Final Derby Day Fundraiser

Filed under Event

NC State’s Belltower Centennial Event

Poppies at the North Carolina State University Belltower Centennial Ceremony

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

~ from the poem “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae

The ceremony at North Carolina State University’s Belltower mentioned in yesterday’s post included the recitation of the poem, while surrounded by a mixture of thousands of real and artificial poppies, shown above, the internationally recognized symbol of remembrance.

Jerry Hester, military veteran and NCSU alumni (class of 1935), who was appointed to the WWI Centennial Commission by President Obama, presented the university with a 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar.

The 40-minute ceremony also included a singing of the national anthem, an invocation, the laying of a wreath at the base of the tower and “Taps” in memory of the 34 NC State students and alumni who died while serving our country in World War I.

The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute and a flyover of F-15 fighters from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, which alarmed nearby residents who were unaware.

Read an account of the ceremony and view the great pictures published in the North State Journal.

The North Carolina State University Belltower was designated an official WWI Centennial Memorial last year during the first round of the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program.

Comments Off on NC State’s Belltower Centennial Event

Filed under Event

Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 4 Days

The 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range was recently designated a National WWI Centennial Memorial.

Who has the authority to designate National WWI Centennial Memorials?

The WWI Centennial Commission was established by the World War One Centennial Commission Act, passed by the 112th Congress and signed by the President on January 16, 2013. The WWI Centennial Commission Act gave the Commission, among other things, the authority to designate memorials to the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I

Who serves on the WWI Centennial Commission?

The Centennial Commission is composed of 12 members:

Three members appointed by the Speaker and minority leader of the US House of Representatives, three members appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the US Senate, three members appointed by the President, one member appointed by the executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, one member appointed by the executive director of the American Legion, one member appointed by the president of the Liberty Memorial Association.

The 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program, which named the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range a WWI Centennial Memorial, is sponsored by the US World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library with support from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a WWI Centennial Commission partner.

How did the rifle range earn the designation?

A proposal to the WWI Centennial Commission was created using all of the information from the past seven years found on this website. This includes the Stabilization, History, Fundraising, News, WWI Wall of Honor pages, and the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran program.

How many memorials were designated in the United States?

100 memorials in the United States were designated Official WWI Centennial Memorials. The list may be found here.

How many in North Carolina?

There is only one other memorial designated as an official WWI Centennial Memorial in North Carolina. The North Carolina State University’s Belltower in Raleigh was also designated. The Memorial Tower was built to honor NC State’s alumni who were killed in WWI.

Today, May 1, 2018, a full military ceremony will be held at the Belltower in Raleigh. It includes a 21-gun salute and a flyover of F-15s from the 4th Fighter Wing stationed at Goldsboro’s Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. 1000 blooming poppies, planted by a horticulture science class, will be in planters surrounding the belltower.

“We want to wake up the area with North Carolina’s major event to celebrate the Centennial Commission,” says Hester, a 1953 NC State graduate and retired U.S. Air Force veteran. “We have the nation’s only belltower that is dedicated to students [and alumni] who sacrificed everything in World War I.

“They deserve to be remembered with an event like this.”

The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range will have members attending and plan to share pictures in tomorrow’s post.

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

Comments Off on Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 4 Days

Filed under Event

Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 6 Days

A new Doughboy Wall of Honor will be displayed along with the World War I Wall of Honor.

The WWI Wall of Honor shows photos of WWI veterans that were sent to the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range. This has been on display during the Derby and other special occasions for several years.

Photos have continued to be received and added to the Wall – – both the physical one and the page online. See the online version for the very special photos shared by family members.

On the other side of the Wall is the new Doughboy Wall (seen here in progress). This Wall honors the Brunswick County WWI Veterans. Framed and typed cards show many of the veterans that readers have become familiar with by reading the WWI Profiles on the blog.

These profiles have been posted on the website each Monday. Check tomorrow for the new profile which for the first time, includes a photo submitted by a Brunswick County resident!

To view the WWI Profiles already published, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

Comments Off on Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 6 Days

Filed under Event

Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 7 Days

Themed baskets are new at this year’s Derby Day Fundraiser.

Local artist Helen Radcliffe took the lead.

Many items were donated by local businesses.

More about their donations coming soon.

Baskets were collected. Items were divided into categories or themes, such as:

Mexican Night
Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend
Spa Day
Lighthouse
Beach Day
Seafood Night

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

Note: Helen Radcliffe is offering a silent auction item again this year: to the winning bidder, an original painting of their home.

Comments Off on Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 7 Days

Filed under Event

Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 8 Days

The Derby Day Fundraiser will help continue the stabilization of the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

The Fort Caswell Rifle Range was built in 1918 for small arms training of soldiers “in view of the immediate necessity for instruction of men destined for over-seas duty” in World War I.

You can read more about the history of the rifle range here or click on the History tab at the top of the website.

The stabilization effort began seven years ago. What followed includes the long process of identifying the structure, raising funds, applying for and receiving placement on the National Register of Historic Places, forming a non-profit, removing trees, shoring the walls, soil tests, and inspections by engineers.

A group of Boy Scouts recently spent two days working on the structure.

You can read more about the stabilization effort here or click on the Stabilization tab at the top of the website. Newer developments are shown at the top of the journal. An update has been added detailing this week’s meeting.

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

Comments Off on Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 8 Days

Filed under Event

Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 9 Days

The Tabletop Races are a fun activity during the Derby Day Fundraiser.

There are six races with six horses each. Each horse has an owner, which costs $10.

Some horses are still available. Click here to view the list.

For several years, horses were given names using words associated with the area, such as Gator Bait and Bunker Beauty.

Last year, the focus was on WWI. The horse names were Over There and Meuse-Argonne, among others.

With the launch of the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran program on November 11, 2017, it seemed appropriate to create names that would recall the courage and strength of the county’s veterans.

Each horse name is in honor of a veteran who was killed, died of disease, or wounded. The name is taken from division or unit mottoes, nicknames, or something similar.

Names were created such as Everlasting Support, a motto created later for the 105th Engineers, Undaunted, the motto for the 119th Infantry, Old Hickory, the nickname for the 30th Division (the division served by more NC veterans than any other), and Hindenburg Line, the assault that made the 30th Division famous and led to the end of the war. Click here to view the Brunswick County WWI Army/Marine veteran rosters.

Fort Caswell nurses are also honored with their own race, with horses named after their residence at enlistment. For example, Chief Nurse Nellie E. Davis served at Fort Caswell through both WWI and WWII. She was from Denver, Colorado; a horse was named Denver in her honor.

Click here to see all of the horse names, along with a link that lists those veterans being honored.

Stay tuned…

Comments Off on Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 9 Days

Filed under Event

Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 10 Days

Preparations are well underway for the 6th and last Derby Day fundraiser for the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range Memorial.

Caswell Dunes Clubhouse in Caswell Beach
May 5th from 2:30-7:00 PM
Tickets are $15, which include dinner.
Email ftcaswellriflerange@gmail.com if you plan to attend.

What is the Derby Day Fundraiser?

The Derby Day Fundraiser is the annual fundraiser to help stabilize the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range. The focus this year is the WWI Centennial.

What activities are planned?

Activities include Tabletop horse races; Silent auctions including themed baskets; Contests such as Best Dressed and Best Hat, 50/50, Blind pool; and the Kentucky Derby viewing. Dinner is served before the Kentucky Derby.

Is 2018 the last year?

Yes, a new fundraiser is planned for 2019.

Click here for more information.

Stay tuned…

Comments Off on Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 10 Days

Filed under Event