A year after forming, the nonprofit Camp Blount Historic Site Association is nearing another milestone – the deadline of Dec. 31 to become a charter member of the organization.
Already, 66 charter members have put forth a total of $19,830, said association leaders during their first annual meeting held earlier this month.
“Charter members can be an individual, husband and wife, family, corporation or business contributing either $500, the Gen. Andrew Jackson level, $300, the David Crockett level, or $200, the Samuel Houston level,” said Randy Delap, association president, after welcoming board members and guests to the meeting.
After Dec. 31, memberships in the organization will still be available for $10 per year for individuals, $20 per year for families, and $100 for lifetime membership, he said.
“I want to thank everyone for all their efforts in support of our Camp Blount project,” said Colin Wakefield, a director of the association’s board, as he gave membership chair Gloria Meadows’ report. “The contributions, regardless of size, are priceless ... I am excited that we have attained this level of membership, but we still need more members. If you have not joined us, please do so.”
Membership applications are available at the register of deeds’ office at the Lincoln County Courthouse.
The year ahead
While progress may have at times seemed slow, work laying the foundation of the Camp Blount Historic Site has seen many pieces fall almost perfectly into place since the City of Fayetteville agreed to the be the site’s caretakers and since the state’s purchase of the 39-plus acres on the banks of the Elk River in 2016.
“I think you’re going to see some things happening in the late spring or this summer for sure,” said Dr. Farris Beasley, association vice president, noting that passersby should begin seeing dirt move at the site in 2019.
Highlighting the past year’s work and the procurement of more than $500,000 in state grants, Beasley said the group is working toward another grant, this one aimed at assisting with helping fund the Volunteer Statue planned at the site – “It will be the first early Volunteer Statue ever in Tennessee,” he said, noting that three significant sculptors have expressed interest.
In conjunction with the Camp Blount Historic Site, work is continuing in regard to the City of Fayetteville’s multi-phase Greenway project, he said, noting that Phase I, a walkway connecting downtown Fayetteville with Stone Bridge Park, should see construction begin soon.
Phase II, which has also been funded, will see a pedestrian bridge constructed across the Elk River, joining the Phase I project with Camp Blount Historic Site. Phase III, a river walk from the pedestrian bridge around the perimeter of Camp Blount, remains in the grant application process.
“None of this would have happened had the City of Fayetteville not voted to be the caretaker of this,” he continued, commending the Fayetteville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, City Administrator Scott Collins, State Reps. Pat Marsh and Rick Tillis, as well as State Sen. Shane Reeves.
Overall, the story of Camp Blount will be told by 20 waysides that have been designed and produced – these waysides will be located along three trails, one dedicated to the War of 1812, another focusing on Andrew Jackson becoming President, and a third dedicated to the Creek Indians.
Plans also call for the site to eventually include Volunteer Plaza, a circular stone plaza utilizing Lincoln County limestone, complete with raised borders that will serve as a seating and meditation area.
A period correct cabin is included in plans as well, and that need will be filled by the Joseph Greer cabin which was rediscovered about two years ago on the Gill farm near Petersburg. Volunteers are in the process of dismantling the cabin, believed to have been built between 1804 and 1820, and preserving it for reconstruction at Camp Blount.
“With the assistance of Joseph Greer SAR Chapter, the King’s Mountain Messenger DAR Chapter, and various others, including our Scouts, we are in the process of making that happen,” said Wakefield as he reported progress to the association.
“We’ve removed the roof, tagged the logs and are in the process of dismantling it,” he said. “We will be hunting for replacement logs from those willing to donate them ... as well as stones that would be used for the cabin’s two chimneys. Anyone willing to help is more than welcome – it’s not easy work.”
Quarterly meetings of the association for 2019 are planned for Feb. 12, May 14, Aug. 13 and Nov. 12, each at 4:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the Fayetteville Municipal Building.