Fort Seward's flag to fly on western front
Questions have been asked about the large and impressive American flag that flies up at the fort, and where it is this year. A section patch has been ordered from the flag pole designer/manufacturer to enclose the flag-raising box mechanism, and ...
Questions have been asked about the large and impressive American flag that flies up at the fort, and where it is this year.
A section patch has been ordered from the flag pole designer/manufacturer to enclose the flag-raising box mechanism, and that will be welded around reinforcing the pole and box, giving the entire unit more stability and strength to withstand the winds we experience here in Jamestown.
The reinforcement should stabilize the enormous flag during high winds.
The crew responsible has been concerned that unexpected winds might create havoc regarding the raising and lowering of the flag. Presently, it takes more than one person to do that job each day, and one which requires strength and an understanding of how to properly handle the American flag, giving it the respect which is required in displaying and removal.
The patch will help provide stability to counter abnormal tension found in such an enormous fixture. No specific time has been set for the regular daily raising and lowering, but since the skyline on the Fort Seward hill is visible across the city, it will be obvious when it's done. Members of the 20th Infantry Company "A" Reenactment Group's flag committee include Dale Marks, Art Todd, Charlie Kourajian, J.P. Wiest, Tom Ravely, Jim Carlascio, Frank Jensen, Dana Baker and Steven Reidburn. The 20th Infantry is responsible for care and maintenance of the fort, its grounds and preservation.
In addition to the loveliness of a sunset behind that glorious flag on our western front, the fort has many new and interesting additions it is providing for residents and tourists alike. One of its features is a touch-screen interactive computer kiosk, where visitors can play games, ask questions and get answers about the fort's history and take a virtual tour of the grounds, getting more information about the displays inside the new E.W. Weise Museum, and learn about life during the fort's existence in Jamestown.
The kiosk was funded by a grant written by Reidburn, who has been instrumental in designing and erecting the kiosk, uploading information and providing guidance on subject materials. Kevin Walker, who is a computer expert at Newman Signs, has been assisting Reidburn on the technical aspects.
Ravely, who runs Last Minute Productions, will be videotaping items for uploading and Keith Norman, who has done radio and now writes for The Jamestown Sun, will be doing voice-overs for the interpretive center's kiosk.
Another new feature was put into place this year for those experiencing mobility problems. Two battery-powered scooters were donated in February by the All Vets Club, so that people needing mobility assistance could navigate the boardwalk at Fort Seward's Veterans Memorial walk and monuments. The two scooters came from the Scooter Store chain and as soon as insurance details can be worked out, they will be available for use. Until then, they have a new storage facility where they will be housed on the site.
The fort's reconstruction committee is looking for donations of golf carts so insured drivers can transport those who need aid to get to the memorial walkway.
Inside the newly dedicated museum, site maps, docents and other information is available to visitors. Bill Brown's informative Fort Seward booklet is available to history buffs, and a shorter article written by Reidburn will also be in the sales case for those needing the basics of the site's background.
Included inside the museum are: the uniform of Sgt. E.W. Weise by his hand-made cannon, a wooden wagon, a site model, clothing of the time, information on films about settlers, wars and whites in the west, and a grand display of artifacts from area digs plus items on loan from the State Historical Society and North Dakota Heritage Museum in Bismarck. Sculptures and paintings also are on display during summer months when the museum is open. Information posted allows self-guided tours, but museum docents are in attendance daily this summer.
If anyone has an item for this column, send information to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.