April 30, 2022
Fort Sewall Oversight Committee (FSOC) Chairman Larry Sands is inviting Marbleheaders of all ages to celebrate the Centennial of Marblehead’s ownership of Fort Sewall on Saturday, June 18th from 10 AM to 2 PM at Fort Sewall. The party will include light refreshments and beverages including cookies and lemonade. Visitors will meet members of Glover’s Regiment and have an opportunity to tour the barracks and discover the newly recreated gun platform.
One hundred years ago in February of 1922 the U. S. Congress passed a law returning Fort Sewall and all related structures to the Town of Marblehead. Senate Bill S.2736 dated February 25, 1922, stipulated that the land not be sold for hire or used for other purposes and be kept open to the public in perpetuity as a public park.
Originally built in 1644, Fort Sewall has over the past three years undergone a $1.5 million dollar rehabilitation effort to preserve and restore the fort structures as well as make the upper levels of the fort totally handicap accessible in compliance with ADA regulations.
One of the most noticeable new Fort Sewall features is the re-created gun platform along the northeasterly point of the fort. The platform includes three granite outlines of typical canons that were in place at the fort at various times over the past 378 years. A working period replica canon, paid for by Glover’s Marblehead Regiment, will also be on the platform.
The preservation effort included restoration of the masonry work on the fort structure, the replacement of doors, floor leveling inside the fort for ADA access, and a new pathway to the fort building. Additionally, the fort building now has new inside illumination at night. The stairs and railings throughout the fort have been replaced, new fencing installed and the many benches were refurbished by an Eagle Scout and reinstalled along the perimeter of the fort. A new illuminated flagpole has been installed near the new gun platform.
Thanks to over 250 generous private donors to the Fort Sewall Donation Fund, the FSOC was able to add the renovation of the 1922 comfort station to the project. The brick exterior was cleaned and repointed, a new slate roof replaced the damaged asphalt shingle roof, doors were replaced, and new touch-less fixtures were added in the restrooms.
The Fort Sewall project budget includes an enhanced ongoing maintenance component that is designed to keep the fort in pristine condition, and part of the private funding for the famous and historic fort will be used to pay for a “Fort Ranger” program modeled after the National Park Service. This new and unique addition to Marblehead will greatly enhance summer visits to the fort.
Larry Sands, Chairman of the FSOC firstname.lastname@example.org 862 579-7760
Christine Nuccio, FSOC Member email@example.com 781 718-1693
Charles H. Gessner, FSOC Member firstname.lastname@example.org 781 631-3552