Thursday, May 6, 2010
Fort No. 4- at Charlestown, New Hampshire
Old Fort No. 4 has been a living history museum since 1960. It presents a slice of life from the early 1700s, including the French and Indian War. The fort is located along the banks of the Connecticut River, the natural border between New Hampshire and Vermont. It protected English settlers from Indian attacks and French invasions coming down from Canada. Fort No. 4 was built in 1744 to protect Land Grant Number Four.
The Fort No. 4 museum has been closed due to the economy, and the lack of school children’s field trips. I guess field trips were first victims to budget cuts, and nearly every school child in New Hampshire used to take a fourth grade tour of the beloved fort. It is a wooden garrison enclosure, complete with stockade fence, blacksmith shops, powder house and other military buildings. More than fifteen years ago we enjoyed a full blown re-enactment of a battle there, complete with French troops, cavalry, colonial rangers, and an armada of Native Americans advancing down the Connecticut River in dugout canoes.
This past week the Olive Branch Lodge #64 of Freemasons in Chester, Vermont sent out a press release that they will step in to help reopen the closed museum. “The Board intends to host events at the Fort this summer while preparing for a full reopening of the Fort at No. 4 in the spring of 2011.” The Chester Freemasons are also hoping other Freemason Lodges will join them in the re-opening effort.
Here are some photos from last year when we drove out to visit Fort No. 4, only to find out it was closed.
For more information:
http://www.blogger.com/www.fortat4.org The website of the Museum at Fort No. 4, Charlestown, New Hampshire
http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/87950/ Vermont Public Radio news story about the re-opening of the Fort No. 4 Museum.