On a chilly but bright Saturday morning in November at Butts Hill Fort, the sounds of tractors, stump grinders, and chain saws drowned out the rakes of the 30 volunteers who arrived to cleanup vegetative debris left in the wake of previous machine and volunteer clearing sessions. The walls of the historic, Revolutionary War fort are now visible from within the battlements.
The goal of the Butts Hill Fort Restoration Committee is to make the Fort a pleasant place for families to visit. That goal is coming into view, highlighted by Saturday’s fall sunshine and the Birch Trees.
During a break at mid-morning, Craig Clark, co-chair of the Restoration Committee, thanked the volunteers for their participation and discussed the Committee’s plans for 2022. These plans include both establish-ment of a Battle of Rhode Island website to serve as a clearing house for information on the Rhode Island Campaign and the development of education materials for schools.
Portsmouth Town Historian, Jim Garman, also thanked the volunteers and said how happy he was to support the efforts of the Committee. These sentiments were echoed by Charlotte Taylor, archeologist of the Rhode Island Historical and Preservation Commission. The Commission has been providing recommendations and guidance to the Restoration Committee.
Once again, the crew from Fort Adams showed up in force, as they had in September. They are now working on two forts, each from two different eras, and each at opposite ends of Aquidneck Island. Special thanks to Chris and Megan deBethune who arrived with two tractors which speeded up the work.
Lastly we were most happy to have State Representative Terri Cortvriend among the raking crew. The Committee appreciates her physical support and her encouragement for our restoration efforts.
This was the last attack on the vegetation for this year. We expect to resume efforts in the spring.
Meanwhile anyone interested in joining our efforts to restore the Fort and to broaden the public knowledge of the Rhode Island Campaign can email Seth Chiaro at email@example.com. Look for Butts Hill Fort Restoration on Facebook.