Cyrus McAlister and Rashid Johnson from Cole Monument Works in Whiteville returned today to place the monument on the base.
Category Archives: Status
Cyrus McAlister and Rashid Johnson from Cole Monument Works in Whiteville returned today to place the monument on the base.
The rifle range is 100 years old. It has remained standing through many hurricanes. We hope both the rifle range and the beautiful coastline will remain intact.
First priorities are homes, communities, and loved ones. When time permits and news of the rifle range is available, we will pass on any damage reports.
Those at the coast and along the path of the hurricane will be in our thoughts. Stay safe.
Hurricane Florence image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Fort Caswell Rifle Range experienced a very busy week. Then the exciting news arrived that the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range was now designated a national WWI Centennial Memorial and suddenly there were many items on the To Do list.
A quick recap…
Friday and Saturday, March 30-31, Ethan Pannkuk arrived to complete his Eagle Scout Service Project. He and some family, friends, and fellow Scouts from Troop 210 in Carolina Beach worked for two days to clear the floor of the target pit and remove roots, digging and clearing the dirt from behind the north wall to examine the footer, and begin the effort to straighten the wall. Two posts cover this work: Day 1 and Day 2. Local newspapers will feature the work later; copies will be found on the News section of the website when they have been published.
On Tuesday, April 3, a visitor from the State Historic Preservation Office in Raleigh inspected the rifle range. The Friends of Fort Rifle Range will continue with stabilization efforts as advised.
Helen worked on beautiful themed baskets that will be available for raffle at the Derby fundraiser on Saturday, May 5.
Buy your tickets now!
The clubhouse can only accommodate a limited number. Volunteers are still needed.
Tabletop horses are available for sale! Become an “owner” of the horse and win when your horse does. See Derby fundraiser webpage.
An additional banner was ordered using a poster from the Library of Congress with the insignias of combat units during World War I. This poster was used by the recruiting office in 1919. You can see the poster and link on the World War I Army/Marine Division Roster webpage.
The photo shown is Norm Sprinthall pointing at the insignia of the 26th Division, the unit his father served in during WWI. Read more about Norm and Lois Sprinthall’s donation in honor of his father, Sgt Archie Sprinthall. Sgt Sprinthall is also included on the WWI Wall of Honor, as well as his fellow soldiers who didn’t return home.
Photo by Christine Urick
Friday, April 6, the Commemoration of the Anniversary of United State’s entry into WWI was held. It was a beautiful day. The recitation of honored Brunswick County WWI veterans was touching. Read the DAR Brunswick Chapter blog post.
The 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range had joined prestigious WWI memorials and landmarks such as Chicago’s “Soldier Field” and Washington, D.C.’s “National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park”.
The 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range is now designated as one of only 100 national WWI Centennial Memorials.
It must be said again and again before the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range can finally believe it. The 100 designated memorials must be checked each day to ensure the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range is still listed.
This was the culmination of many months of writing, reviewing, revising, and hand-wringing to create a proposal that would fully capture the dedication required for the seven years of work to date. The Fort Caswell Rifle Range receives not only the national designation, but also a grant “towards the restoration, conservation and maintenance of local historical treasures.”
It will result in national attention and publicity for the rifle range. More details will follow on possible podcasts, the award presentation, and publications. Official press release: FINAL 100 Cities/100 Memorials Press Release for Official World War I Centennial Memorials
The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission was established by the World War One Centennial Commission Act, part of Public Law 112-272 passed by the 112th Congress and signed by President Obama on January 16, 2013. The Commission is responsible for planning, developing, and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War One. All living presidents serve as Honorary Chairs. Read more on the webpage at www.worldwar1centennial.org
Trying to find information or locate a WWI profile about a specific veteran in a group of 730+ names can be difficult.
Here is the easiest method:
- Go to the Brunswick County World War I veterans list by clicking here or the blue button labeled “WWI Brunswick Co. Veterans” on the top right of most pages.
- Names are listed alphabetically. Find your veteran name.
- If there is a blue link on the name, click on it to view either a WWI profile that has been posted or entries in the World War I Wall of Honor.
The Wall of Honor was created using photographs and stories sent to the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range. There are Brunswick County veterans on that list. WWI profiles are being posted first on veterans who were wounded or died while serving. Any Brunswick County veterans on the Wall of Honor will eventually have a WWI profile posted.
- If there is a blue number after the name, click on it to view a reference to that veteran.
- If the date of death has a blue link, click on it to view the cemetery where the veteran is buried. Most of these are findagrave listings.
All stories and photographs are welcome.
If you have any findagrave listings for veterans, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to have a complete list eventually.
On November 11, 2017, The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range began the year-long commemoration of the end of World War I. A memorial to Brunswick County WWI veterans is planned for November 11, 2018 at the site of the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.
It’s been about two months since “Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran” began. Much has happened.
The 700+ Brunswick County WWI veteran names were gathered from records and the list was created on the website. Click here for the list or use the blue button on the side of every page. Click here for the list of donors and the veteran they honored or use the blue button on the side of every page.
To date, 110 veterans have been honored with a donation.
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) was created to assist in choosing a veteran to honor.
A design for the WWI Memorial for Brunswick County veterans was chosen, based on a sketch by Helen Radcliffe.
The following WWI Profiles about Brunswick County veterans were posted to the blog using historical documents. Except for Nurse Williams, profiles are focused on veterans who were Wounded, KIA, Died of Wounds or Disease. More profiles are planned. Subscribe or visit the website often!
Dorman L. Mercer, probably the longest living Brunswick County WWI veteran (Dorman passed away in 1996 at age 102).
Susan Adkins Williams, the only known WWI nurse born and raised in Brunswick County.
From the 365th Infantry, 92nd Division “Buffalo Soldiers”
From the 105th Engineers, 30th Division “Old Hickory”
Keep current on published stories by viewing the News section of the website.
Thank you for your continued support!
2011 – 2017
It’s hard to believe that the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range has its roots in a project that began nearly six years ago.
In May 2011, the Landscape/Grounds Committee of Caswell Dunes held a workday that included volunteers in the neighborhood. This group of people stopped to consider the structure that they traveled past almost daily. And so the discussion began.
Is it an eyesore? A piece of history? Should it be saved? What is a bunker anyway?
The volunteers reached out to Jim McKee, Historical Interpreter at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Historical Site, asking him to visit and perhaps advise us as to what this structure is.
“When we think of World War I, we tend to think of Europe and trench warfare,” McKee said. “You don’t hear as much about how our boys got ready over here to go over there. The last World War I veteran died earlier this year. This is significant.”
[Note: Jim McKee was referring to Frank Buckles, the last remaining World War I veteran, dying at age 110 in February 2011.]
Jim McKee and people from the NC State Historical Preservation Office visited.
Word was received in early January that the rifle pit may be added to the Fort Caswell application for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. But $1640 was required. The Caswell Dunes Special Interest Group organized funding.
Fundraising, including the first annual Kentucky Derby Day, began the first Saturday in May.
December 31, 2013, the Fort Caswell Historic District and the dis-contiguous Rifle Range Target Pit was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range, Inc was founded as a non-profit with 501(c)(3) status on March 17, 2015, with a mission to stabilize and preserve the Fort Caswell Rifle Range.
Trees pressing against the north wall were removed and core drilling performed. Structural engineer Brian Ross along with the assistance of Paul Shivers presented the final engineering report November 29, 2016.
Fort Caswell Rifle Range was chosen as one of the most threatened historic places for 2016 in the Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region.
- A contractor must be found to plumb the tilted wall.
- Additional funds must be raised.
- After the passageway wall is stabilized, the lintels (two doorways) need repaired and the cracks need filled with epoxy.
- A web site was established with the following name www.caswellriflerange.com
- An email address was also established: email@example.com
- Business cards were ordered.
The centennial of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range.
For more details about the past six years, visit the Stabilization page.
$1640 – Registering on ‘National List of Historic Places’
$400 – Obtaining 501(c)(3) status
$3200 – Tree Removal
$1425 – Hydrological Study
$4850 – Engineering Study
$1400 – Insurance
Straighten passageway wall
Seal inside walls
Read the story
Setting the goal
Paul Shivers, our project engineer, is searching for contractor(s) to offer quotes for straightening the passageway wall.
- The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution contributed $1500 from the Harriet Barlowe Memorial fund for an educational tablet.
- First Bank of Brunswick County contributed $500 for a plaque displaying the entry on the National Register of Historic Places.
Thank you for your support! Visit our Fundraising page.
The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range are working quickly to detail the accomplishments completed to date on the stabilization efforts and the funds used for the work that the volunteers could not complete on their own. See http://www.caswellriflerange.com/stabilization/ for a chronology beginning in 2011. The Friends believe it’s already been an amazing transformation! But there’s still a lot of work to do.
One of the goals for this website is detailing the work not yet completed and funds needed to allow donors to see how their donations will be used. Lee Hinnant, staff writer for The State Port Pilot http://stateportpilot.com/ has written about the proposed repairs, which could total $30,000 to $50,000 to save this important and unique structure from WWI.
The Friends will be updating the fundraising page and thermometer soon http://www.caswellriflerange.com/fundraising/ and thanking our previous donors – there are many. Thank you for your continued support!
After the engineers collected data from the measurements and identified trees for removal, Brian ordered hydrological tests to evaluate the subsoil. The drilling was in two places behind the north wall. This test was performed by employees of engineer Winslow Goins, Engineering Department Manager at ECS Carolinas, LLP, Wilmington, NC. After engineer Brian evaluates the data from the subsoil drilling he will finalize the entire engineering study.
The north wall after the trees have been removed. The machine in the distance is performing core drilling, establishing the depth of the water table. Notice the bow in the wall near the doorway of the storage room. The long passageway wall is where military walked west toward the target area.