February 23, 2017. Courtesy of Brunswick Beacon. http://brunswickbeacon.com/
The 184-foot-long Fort Caswell Rifle Range wall is shown from the east side where the center wall is tilted inward displaying the need to stabilize it before it collapses.
For almost six years, the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range, a nonprofit organization in Caswell Beach, have worked to raise funds to conduct a structural engineering study to identify how to repair/stabilize the center wall of the 184-foot section before it collapses.
The 1918 structure is in Caswell Beach and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with Fort Caswell. It once was a part of Fort Caswell but now it sits in a residential area.
The purpose of the pit allowed military to practice markmanship before being shipped to Europe. Sixteen targets were raised and lowered from inside by military while the line of fire was stationed about 300 yards away.
Now the engineering study is complete, trees compromising the wall are removed and the difficult part of raising funds is next. Paul Shivers, engineer and president of the Friends of Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson, is project manager of the rifle range work. He estimates straightening the center wall will cost about $15,000 to $20,000. After that, the two lintels (doorways) need repairing as well as patching the walls. Sealing the inside walls will add more expense.
The Friends are continuing their public appeal to send pictures of family members who served in World War I from any state. Send a copy of a photograph of your family member in uniform, their rank, units/divisions, any stories about them and the war. If possible, list the state where they lived.
Go to caswellriflerange.com for more information or send messages or pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. To attend the Derby Day fundraiser May 6, send a request to email@example.com.
Norman Sprinthall, shown with his father’s World War I military medals on his lapel, makes a point about World War I to supporters during the 2016 fundraiser. Sgt. Archie Sprinthall served in the 26th Division and lost six comrades from his hometown in Rhode Island. The background shows a portion of the Wall of Honor where the public sent in pictures of family members who served in the Great War.