Bringing Back Fort Augusta

SUNBURY — A piece of history is being resurrected in Sunbury.

Ground was broken Tuesday at the Northumberland County Historical Society for a model of Fort Augusta.

More than 250 years ago, Fort Augusta was built in Sunbury during the French and Indian War.  It was built to defend settlers during that war and the American Revolution.

“It was more of a deterrent for attack. It was never attacked. It was to signify a stronghold in the area,” said Scott Heintzelman, Northumberland County Historical Society.

Now, the Northumberland County Historical Society is bringing back Fort Augusta on a smaller scale.  Ground was broken at the historical society on a 32-foot-wide model of Fort Augusta.

A similar model was built in the same place in 1939 but was removed in 1981 because of neglect.  Jean Phillips remembers that.

“I went to the neighborhood school and after school we would come up here and play around the magazine and the fort,” she recalled.

The Northumberland County Historical Society believes the model will help tell the story Of fort Augusta so people can see it instead of just reading about it.

The historical society still needs to raise $125,000 for the project.  Another organization is going to match that money.  The historical society is encouraging people to “get fortified” and buy t shirts to support the project.

“We have additional money right now that we’re going to allocate to just get the project moving along, with the belief that the community is behind us and we’ll be successful at raising the other money,” Heintzelman said.

Some history buffs in Sunbury look forward to seeing the finished project.

“If you’re in town, you’re going to swing by and look at it.  When family and friends come in, you’re going to brag it up a bit,” said Dave Zartman.

“It’s wonderful,” said Phillips. “We’ve lived for this for a long time.”

The historical society expects the project to be finished by October.

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