Friends of Fort Fremont NEWS
December 19, 2016
President's Annual Letter
First, I want to thank you for your commitment and support as we continue our mission to improve the visitor experience at Fort Fremont. Positive evidence of that commitment over the past year was an increase in our docent led tours where visitors can view our two dioramas that illuminate the Fortís history and take a physical tour of the Fort. The South Carolina Historical Society, the largest historic group in South Carolina, chose Fort Fremont and the Spanish-American War experience for their annual member tour this past fall. The FFF board approved and implemented temporary historical signage at the Fort. It will remain in place until the construction is completed, a short term measure to improve the visitors experience. Our newest project is developing a video that will complement our popular docent program and be utilized at St Helena Library until the completion of the Interpretive Center.
We did have our challenges this past year that tested the resolve of our FFF Members in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. FFF made a commitment to our community working on the Storm Recovery Assistance effort on St Helena for our neighbors in need. The Fort also had its own devastation from the hurricane where it had standing water, fallen trees and limbs. The Friends stepped up to effectuate a clean-up campaign and recovery plan that enabled visitorís safe passage at the Fort.
We are extremely excited about our prospects in 2017 with the development of our Interpretive Center. To update you on our progress of the Interpretive Center, the FFF Members have been working closely with the architect, engineer, project manager, archeologist and County on the project. The FFF played an active role in recommending site improvements to project leadership to not only enhance the visitor experience, but uphold the test of time. Everything is in order as we wait for the completion of the bid packages that will be issued to potential builders. The final phase of the approval process for the Interpretive Center will be from the Beaufort County Council.
To that end, your support for FFF and the Interpretive Center has never been greater! Fort Fremont with the new Interpretive Center will be a major attraction for visitors to our area complementing our partnership with Penn Center and Hunting Island. Fort Fremont is a valued historical park and a Beaufort County treasure that will provide unlimited educational opportunities for our student population. Please take the opportunity to voice your support for the interpretive Center to anyone who will listen.
Best wishes for the holidays and look forward to seeing you in 2017!
President of the Board
Friends of Fort Fremont
Friends of Fort Fremont Fall Fundraiser
"Down Caribbean Way"
The Friends of Fort Fremont have had an awesome year so far. We held our annual oyster roast in Port Royal last March. Despite delays in construction of the planned Interpretive Center at Fort Fremont (due to a State-required archaeology dig), we developed an acclaimed docent tour of the Diorama and other historic models located at the Saint Helena Branch of the Beaufort County Library followed by an inspection of the ruins at the County park site on Landís End. The tour is available to the public the 4th Saturday each month and to other interested groups by request as scheduled. Donít miss it!
In collaboration with the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, local historical groups and events, First Shore, and the Lowcountry Resort Islands and Tourism Commission, the Friends have raised public awareness of this Spanish American War relic, which like the Cold War Nike missile program and later the ICBM system, contributed to the United Statesí peace-keeping efforts and international safety without firing a single shot.
The Friends continue to help the County keep the park clean of windfall, trash and graffiti on an ongoing basis, as well as sponsor and facilitate local school visits, preservation activity and public safety improvements with the assistance of community groups and individuals. New this season, informative signs and brochures have been placed at the Fort describing the batteries that remain and the strategic significance of the entire military emplacement at the mouth of the Beaufort River.
These activities helped increase the ranking of Fort Fremont at TripAdvisor from #9 last year to #4 of eleven things to do on Saint Helena Island today and brought increased traffic to their website at www.fortfremont.org and their FaceBook page. Like us!
To celebrate our accomplishments and raise a few more dollars to keep up the good works, a Caribbean-themed soirťe at The Celedon Club, 61 Sams Point Road on Ladyís Island, was held from 6:00 to 8:30 PM on September 30, 2016. Tickets were $30 for members & guests and $40 for non-members. The menu (by "We Island" catering) included jerk chicken, rice dishes, and two varieties of cole slaw. Wine, beer, rum punch and non-alcohol drinks were served. Island musical entertainment by DJ Kwarme Shah of All Mobile Productions, Brooklyn, NY. Last but not least, a raffle of a gift basket was won by our favorite Master Miniaturist, Dennis Cannady.
Please watch for our next social and informational event. Join us and have fun as we promote, preserve, and protect the historic park and ruins on Saint Helena Island.
In the Media
APRIL 20, 2016: The Beaufort Gazette
Fort Fremont a ‘quiet’ sentinel on St. Helena Island
Link to article Fort Fremont was built as a defensive post during Spanish American War. Besides the gun batteries, only its hospital building survives today. The Friends of Fort Fremont are helping to preserve the site.
FEBRUARY 22, 2016: The Beaufort Gazette
Fort Fremont group holding monthly tour Saturday
Link to article Visitors will learn the history of the fort, see a scale model of what it looked like in 1898, and take a tour of what is left of the fort.
JANUARY 24, 2016: The Beaufort Gazette
Video: Visitor's center, docent led tours part of vision for Fort Fremont on St. Helena
Link to article Pete Richards, a founding member of the Friends of Fort Fremont, talks about their hopes for the future of Fort Fremont, which was built during the Spanish American War.
"So much history here" -- St. Helena Island's Fort Fremont finds renewed sense of history
Link to article "This was part of a history that, when we started, very few people knew about," said Pete Richards, who led a group of about 20 on a tour of Fort Fremont at the end of Lands End Road on Saturday morning.
Click here for reprint of the January 23rd Beaufort Gazette article about our ongoing Docent Tours each month.
JANUARY 21, 2016: The Beaufort Gazette
Docent-led tours of Fort Fremont to start on Saturday
Link to article Beginning Jan. 23, the Friends of Fort Fremont will begin offering docent-led tours of the fort the fourth Saturday of every month, according to a news release.
MAY 28, 2015: The Beaufort Gazette
Part of Fort Fremont diorama to be revealed
Link to article The annual meeting of the Friends of Fort Fremont will be June 9 at 10 a.m. at the St. Helena library.
MAY 12, 2015: The Beaufort Gazette
Wine festival planned to benefit Fort Fremont
Link to article Friends of Fort Fremont is hosting a Spring Wine Festival on Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Saltus Grill on Bay Street in Beaufort.
NOVEMBER 15, 2014: Eat Sleep Play Beaufort
Fort Fremontís history, and the Landís End Light
Link to article Back in Time: Explore Beaufort's History, Beaufort, SC
NOVEMBER 14, 2014: The Beaufort Gazette
Leaders to unveil model, plans for historic Fort Fremont site
Link to article Over the next year, local leaders will bring the remnants of the historic Fort Fremont site on St. Helena Island back to life through a new replica model and planned visitor's museum.
NOVEMBER 3, 2014: The Beaufort Gazette
Plans underway for Fort Fremont diorama
Link to article Master modeler Dennis Cannady is building a three-dimensional diorama of Fort Fremont and will speak at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at Port Royal Union Church.
APRIL 30, 2013: The Beaufort Gazette
Fort Fremont gets historical marker
Link to article Local dignitaries and the Friends of Fort Fremont gathered for speeches, snacks, and to dedicate the historical marker on the roadside at Fort Fremont.
MARCH 27, 2013: The Beaufort Gazette
Riverview Charter students paint, clean up Beaufort area for service project
Link to article A great group of students, teachers, and parents toured the fort, cleaned up the Fort Fremont property and had lunch.
MARCH 23, 2012: The Beaufort Gazette
Fort Fremont: Homeland Security c.1898
Link to article The Gazette/Island Packet features our exhibit at the John Mark Verdier House in Beaufort which runs through June 30. It is cosponsored by the Friends of Fort Fremont Historic Site and the Humanities CouncilSC, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
MARCH 13, 2012: The Lowcountry Weekly
Link to article Verdier House exhibit spotlights Beaufortís role during the Spanish-American War
FEBRUARY 27, 2012:
Verdier House Exhibit Awarded Grant by
Link to article at the website of The Humanities CouncilSC
JUNE 3, 2010: The Beaufort Gazette
Fort Fremont Awarded Historical Status
Link to article The Gazette featured Fort Fremont and its official designation in the National Register of Historic Places on the front page of the Lowcountry Life section of the paper.