Breathing life into Fort at No. 4

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, May 3, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    CHARLESTOWN — A boost from a Vermont Masons’ group is helping the Fort at No. 4 partially re-open ahead of schedule, after it was shuttered more than a year ago.

    The Masonic Olive Branch Lodge No. 64 of Chester, Vt., will assist in raising money, marketing and volunteering at the living history museum that used to host to field trips by children from around New Hampshire and Vermont, according to a news release.

    The fort’s board of directors plans to host events there this summer, with a full reopening scheduled for spring 2011.

    The museum was closed throughout the 2009 season and members of the fort’s board said earlier this year it would take about $250,000 to get the fort up and running again.

    The fort, which focuses on life during the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars, has faced financial struggles in recent years due to declining donations.

    Donald Webster, secretary of the Olive Branch Lodge, called the fort “an important historical education center in the Connecticut River Valley,†in the release.

    “We did not want to see the Fort remain closed and add to the threatened loss of colonial and early American historical centers,†he said.

    Jeff Kibbe, a member of the fort’s board and member of the Chester lodge, said Masons have been involved with the fort since its original construction in the 1740s.

    The fort’s board is also in discussions with representatives of the Charlestown Masonic Lodge and is aiming to increase community support.

    Nicholas Westbrook, a new member of the board who directed Fort Ticonderoga in New York for 20 years, said the Masons’ help with reopening the fort is helping to preserve the story of early America.

    “During desperate decades in the middle of the 18th century, the Fort at No. 4 protected the northern frontier of New England,†he said in the release. “For the past 50 years, the Fort has been a vital center for telling that story.

    “Our 18th-century ancestors place that responsibility in the hands of ‘posterity.’ That would be us, each of us today.â€

    Information about plans and events at the fort will be released when it becomes available, according to the release.


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