The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 29, 2013

Finishing touches placed at new Fort Augusta model in Sunbury

SUNBURY — Work on the newly restored Fort Augusta model at the Northumberland County Historical Society’s headquarters in Sunbury is complete, though the group hopes to add some finishing touches to the grounds to allow better access to the model.

A small ceremony will be held early next month to mark the completion of the model, while a larger grand opening ceremony will be held in July, said Northumberland County Historical Society Board of Directors member Michael McWilliams, who oversaw the project.

“This has been a labor of love,” he said.

The 32-foot model is at a one-sixth scale model of the original fort, which sat on the site and helped ward off French and Indian attacks during the French and Indian War, as well as aid American efforts during the American Revolution, McWilliams said.

“It was a deterrent,” he said. “It also helped river traffic through this area.”

The model is a replica of a model which was built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration. However, that model had poor drainage and the building began to rot, causing the state to tear down the model in 1981, McWilliams said.

However, A Northumberland man bought the model buildings and kept them until about 2010, when the Historical Society purchased them in hopes of rebuilding the model.

“This has been in the works for six or seven years,” McWilliams said.

And while the model itself is complete, the group is still looking for donations to cover the cost of the model, which cost about $160,000 total: about $131,000 for the construction of the fort and $26,000 for the restoration of the original fort model’s buildings, McWilliams said. The group also hopes to add a second observation ramp to allow visitors to view more angles of the model and make the model handicap-accessible when the museum is closed, as well as a sidewalk to line the model.

“We need people who want this model here to donate,” McWilliams said.

So far, the historical society has raised about $22,000 toward the fort, he said.

In the long term, the Historical Society wants to paint a mural on the flood wall across Front Street to depict the view as it would have looked from the fort in its glory days, McWilliams said.

But for now, McWilliams is satisfied with how the model itself has turned out.

“It’s been a big undertaking,” he said. “The biggest we’ve ever done.”

Text Only
  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor: Rental ban for drug dealers a success

    SUNBURY — A controversial landlord-tenant ordinance passed by the City Council in 2012 has become one of Sunbury’s “better success stories,” Mayor David Persing said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mom cited for allegedly leaving baby in car for 12 minutes

    LEWISBURG — A summary citation carrying a maximum fine of $127.50 was filed Tuesday against a Lewisburg woman accused of leaving her 10-month-old baby unattended for 12 minutes in a car in Union County on July 21.

    July 29, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.