Letter: Kudos for spying fort's footprint
Updated 1:02 pm, Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Amidst the doldrums of July, a mid-summer night's dream arrived in your pages heralding the discovery of the "Remains of a `rebel' fort" [July 18] in the shallows off Black Rock.
Offering us a jaw-dropping, head-shaking link to our nation's origins, Genevive Reilly's reporting gave enormous value and historical detail. Thanks for covering this momentous archaeological find.
While thousands enjoyed Independence Day fireworks along the Fairfield-Black Rock shoreline, how many possess an accurate knowledge of the real hot-lead cannon balls launched from British Man-of-Warships in the sights of terrorized townsfolk?
Kudos to veteran town historian Bill Lee for bird-dogging this precious bit of Revolutionary War-era history and"`getting it right." Cheers to intrepid "spy in the sky" Morgan Kaolian for his detailed Aeropix [available at www.fairfieldcitizenonline.com.]
With gentle encouragement, everybody should study the aerial image to appreciate the foundation lines for the crisply pointed, trimmed, hand-chiseled stones designed by Fairfield's sons of liberty in advance of a British naval assault. We are often reminded of the traumatic events of July 7, 1779, when 1,600 Royal Marines marched from McKenzie's Point [at the tip of South Pine Creek Road] toward a day of rampage burning 200 homes and every public edifice around the Four Corners. This discovery thrusts us onto the ramparts.
Conservation Director Thomas Steinke mentions how "coastal erosion" has all but washed away this rugged citadel, grinding it to a ghostly foot-print. But truth be told -- the precious values of historic preservation and the continuity of American cultural heritage should can never fade from memory.
Passing through Fairfield ten years later in 1789, Washington noted in his diary "the destructive evidences of British cruelty are yet visible ... in Fairfield."
Three cheers for Lee and Kaolian for ensuring that future generations will not question the past magnificently made "visible" again!