Saturday’s Friends Of Old Fort Stevens (FOOFS) picnic and membership drive was a celebration of the terrific work that FOOFS does at Fort Stevens. On top of the celebration they had a nifty surprise in store for us.
The first order of business was, of course, the food. Diane Forst, President of FOOFS, started a short program by doling out door prizes. Then she introduced Jack Buckmeir who has been working on the 6″ Battery Pratt Gun Restoration project. To see the progress, check out my earlier blog post. Jack had his pickup truck parked behind him, and in the truck bed was was a very large object covered with a tarp. On cue, the tarp was pulled off, revealing an engineering model of one of the Battery Russell 10″ Guns complete with an operational disappearing carriage. Jack gave a demonstration of how it works and wowed the crowd.
Jack’s pickup looked quite intimidating with that gun mounted on the back; it’s probably a very good thing that he keeps that tarp over it. The model is not a detailed replica of the M1900 Gun on a M1901 disappearing carriage, but rather a 1/6 scale engineering model built to confirm the validity of the design. Jack’s amazing attention to detail made the gun look real and he plans to set it up for electrical operation in the museum’s simulated Battery Russell.
Each of the Fort Stevens Vets present was introduced and a group picture taken. The weather was a bit chilly and grey but everyone had a great time, so it was well worth the long drive from Salem.
This post was written by JohnStanton on September 21, 2008