2006-11-09 / About Town

New signs to be dedicated at Ft. Wetherill

The state Department of Environmental Management will hold a dedication ceremony for newly installed military interpretive signage at the DEM's Fort Wetherill Marine Fisheries Center in Jamestown on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, from 8:30 to 9 a.m.

The signs depict the military uses of the three historic buildings at Fort Wetherill, dating from the early 1800s to World War II. Walter K. Schroder of North Kingstown, a noted historian who has written and lectured extensively and published several books relating to Rhode Island's military installations, wrote the narrative for the signs.

Situated atop 50 to 70 foot high cliffs with clear views of the horizon and Block Island to

the south, Fort Wetherill held an important strategic position within an extended harbor defense system of Narragansett Bay during World Wars I and II. The government acquired the first parcels of land for this fort in 1799. Additional acreage was later purchased, bringing the total area of this military reservation to 61.5 acres. In 1900, the enclave was formally dedicated and named Fort Wetherill. A complete submarine mine and cable facility consisting of several buildings, a wharf, tram rails, and ancillary facilities occupied the easternmost section of the fort during the World Wars. Three permanent structures have been preserved and upgraded, and now house the DEM's Marine Fisheries offices, which are part of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Participating in the dedication ceremony will be DEM Director W. Michael Sullivan; Major Ronald Tammaro, executive officer of the 243rd Regiment RTI; Bruce Livingston, commander of the Jamestown Chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; and Bob Edgar, commander of the American Legion Arnold-Zwier Post #22.

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