FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2011
At today’s Macon City Council’s Community Resource & Development Committee Meeting, the Fort Hawkins Commission announced that it has hired a full time Project Coordinator to expand both educational public programs and fund raising efforts. The 1930’s Blockhouse Replica on Emery Highway will be opened to the public without charge every weekend through December beginning in March during the Cherry Blossom Festival. The already popular public program schedule of 18 events (attached) will be continued and expanded. The equally popular Friends of Fort Hawkins will be renewed and revitalized with more on site participation opportunities.
The Commission further plans to continue archaeological research at the fort site this fall, which will lead to the rebuilding of the 1806 Fort Hawkins palisade wall at the beginning of the Bicentennial Celebration of the War of 1812. The Commission’s commitment to become a living history educational center will continue with the introduction of more demonstrations at public events and classes to teach the crafts, skills and arts that allowed Fort Hawkins to grow and prosper on the American frontier – seventeen years before the birth of Macon. All such artisans will soon have a place to regularly share and teach these nearly lost skills at the fort – once again.
The Commission’ s Chairman, Marty Willett, has been retained to provide this professional contribution to begin their full time effort to fund and implement the Fort Hawkins Master Plan. This endeavor is far from the parliamentary duties required of the Chairman by the City and allows the Commission to take the fort to this next level of public recognition and participation leading hopefully to the full development of the historic site. Willett has served for the past five years as Chairman of the all volunteer, non city funded, official city commission. Willett and Mr. Ed DeFore are the only current commission members that were on the 1990 commission created by then Mayor Lee Robinson to find a better way to preserve and promote the fort site than just part of the city’s famed green spaces in our “City in a Park.”
The Commission’s archaeological research revealed a more significant and substantial Fort Hawkins than ever known before and finally allowed this long awaited site development plan to be created. The Master Plan, Archaeological Report, Public Program Schedule, Friends Program and much more are found on the Commission’s web site “The Real Fort Hawkins” at http://www.forthawkins.com. The public has direct access to the Commission’s exciting plans with the web site, and with today’s announcement, soon even more access to the fort site with its breathtaking view and equally breathtaking early American history. Willett has been active for over 38 years with historic site development and interpretation beginning with the Georgia Historical Commission at the Lapham-Patterson State Historic Site & National Landmark in his hometown of Thomasville in 1972.
Willett’s excitement and enthusiasm is hard to contain. “Fort Hawkins is not only Macon’s Birthplace, but it also played an important part in America’s birth and our expanded efforts will hopefully get the site open daily as the National Bicentennial of the War of 1812 begins next year. When the British burned Washington, D.C. in 1814 they destroyed the fort’s plans and records so only our recent research has finally begun to reveal the real Fort Hawkins. With our dedication to archaeology and living history plus its own rich history, the Fort Hawkins Historic Site is destined to become a successful, self-sustaining local, regional and national educational resource and tremendous economic generator plus a place to share our local and national pride.” And he could continue to expound, but it is all found at http://www.forthawkins.com and soon every weekend!
1022 Walnut Street
Macon, GA 31201