Category Archives: History

The origin of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range

In April, we honored and recognized the Centennial of the US entry into World War I by holding a Commemoration Ceremony at the Fort Caswell Rifle Range alongside the Brunswick Town Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

As we prepare for the Centennial of the End of World War I on November 11, 1918, we will also recognize the centennial of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range, which was approved and built in 1918.

Mason’s mark on north wall

The Fort Caswell Rifle Range was built to replace the existing one, which had become unsafe due to the increase in the garrison to house the “large number of recruits and drafted men now here or expected in the near future.”

A site for the new rifle range was found “three miles distant from the Post.” The site, now within the Caswell Dunes neighborhood, “affords a fine camp ground with plenty of water and wood without further expense to the Government.”

These US War Department documents including blueprints can be found by clicking the HISTORY selection at the top of the website.

 


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Have you seen our World War I Wall of Honor?

Last year, the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range began a project to commemorate the rifle pit’s centennial year in 2018. Requests were made locally and beyond for photographs and biographies of family members who served in World War I. These were assembled on a physical Wall of Honor that is displayed during special occasions such as the Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser at the Caswell Dunes Clubhouse.

You can see the Wall of Honor behind Norm Sprinthall, who is shown here wearing his father’s WWI medals.

But did you know there is a virtual World War I Wall of Honor right on the website? It’s accessible in the WWI section of the website or using the link above.

If you’re interested in submitting your own photographs, please use the link for details.

The World War I Wall of Honor will be displayed again at this year’s Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser on May 6, 2017.

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How much did the rifle range cost in 1918?

The War Department lists an estimate dated January 24, 1918, for a total of $3856.38 for
“Target pit, protected passage and store house at New Rifle Range, Artillery Cantonment”

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