Masons and the Fort at No. 4
In January 2010The Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire lay dormant. Its gates closed since 2008, the living history museum had little hope of reopening. The Fort’s most valuable artifacts were being liquidated to cover its debt.
Olive Branch Masonic Lodge # 64 in Chester, VT, become aware that the region might lose this valuable resource. The Fort at No. 4, with its focus on colonial era history was the only such entity within the Connecticut River Valley. Over six thousand school children a year had visited and participated in Colonial life style programs.
In late January 2010, representatives of the Olive Branch Lodge, with approval of its membership, approached the Board of Trustees of Old Fort No. 4 Associates to see if the Trustees would have any interest in a proposal by the Masons. The response from the board was very positive and the lodge moved forward with the approval of the Vermont Grand Lodge as well as that of the New Hampshire Grand Master. The concept being that the Masons would help in fund raising, marketing and helping to bring volunteers to the Fort.
Olive Branch hopes it efforts will become part of a wide spread movement among Vermont , New Hampshire and other state’s Masonic lodges to provide help in several way to the reopening of the Fort and to its continuing viability. At the same time recognizing that it could not be a totally Masonic effort, but also must include the greater community in the private, corporate and government sectors.
Plans to open the gift shop, start repairs to the buildings, hold some events at the Fort this summer and reopen the Fort completely next spring are progressing on schedule.
There has been a surge of offers of help, demonstrated by volunteers appearing and working, donations of materials, labor and money.
This is a major undertaking which is going to require the help of Masons and the general community.
If you would like to help with donations, send them to:
Old Fort at No. 4
PO Box 1336
Charleston, NH 03603
If you would like to help by volunteering, or would like to discuss other ways you can help. Contact:
Wendy Baker, Director 603-826-5700
Board of Trustees & Officers
- Paul Truax, Chairman 802-875-3800
- Nicholas Westbrook , Vice Chairman and Secretary
- Calvin Keyler
- Thomas Johnston, IV
- Donald Webster
- Jeff Kibbe
- Matt Blanc
- Lewis Paul Bremmer
- John-Eric Nelson
- Treasurer – Erron Carey