Date(s): Saturday, May 28, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: The Fort At No. 4
267 Springfield Rd
Charlestown, NH 03603
Travel back in time with the DCUV down the river to the 18th Century Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown for a (slightly delayed) 250th anniversary of the first Dartmouth road trip. The Fort is kid-friendly and photogenic, with buildings and exhibits and a camp in the meadow to explore.
History and the Dartmouth Connections: During the French and Indian War the wooden Fort was the northernmost British colonial settlement on the Connecticut River. As the war ended and the Abenaki were forced to retreat, the town that grew around the Fort was the main route for the settlers exploding north from southern New England. In 1770 this included two groups traveling to the woods of Hanover to build a college. First came Rev. Wheelock and men to build cabins, then Mrs. Wheelock with everything else that were not available in Hanover, like coffee, livestock, and students. Within a few decades two students from Charlestown went to Dartmouth, and on to become NH Governors (Hubbard and Metcalf).
In 1960, Charlestown started a reconstruction of the original Fort close to the River. The museum is popular for school field trips and historic re-enactors. It gives a sense of the early architecture, technology and culture of the Upper Valley settlers and the Abenaki. The Fort Board is currently involved in Sullivan County marketing efforts, and working with Architect Sue Reed ’81 on a design for a new entry building and tavern, efforts that will keep the Fort open in future years.
Visit the Encampment: Visiting the Fort with the DCUV on May 28th, 2022 includes admission to the 1750-1840 Original New England Primitive Rendezvous. Their history enthusiasts portray individuals from the French and Indian War, Colonial Period, Revolutionary War, westward settlers, and mountain men. Craftsmen and traders will have period merchandise for sale.
Hours: Fort gates are open 10 AM to 4:30PM; the Dartmouth Club rendezvous is at 1:00PM on the green in the middle of the Fort, but feel free to come at any time!
Attire: Feel free to wear some attire from the time period, or Dartmouth gear. Masks are fine too. The grounds are grassy, so wear your frontier shoes.
Admission: To get the DCUV group discount ($8/person 6 and up, free 5 and under), just tell the ticket desk you are with the Dartmouth Club. DCUV guests do not have to be paid/registered DCUV members to take advantage of the discount.
Food: You can bring a picnic. There are good food options a mile south on Main Street (original site or the Fort). Or go for ice cream there after your Fort visit and admire the handsome buildings.
Directions: Go south on I-91 (or Route 5) to Exit 7 (Springfield VT). Go east to NH across the river. The Fort at No. 4 is located 1.5 miles from the Exit, look for the sign on the left. The address is 267 Springfield Road.
For a more historic trip take route 12A south that follows some of the route taken by the Wheelocks in 1770. (Caution: 12A south of Charlestown is closed through May).
Questions: Call Sue Reed ’81 at 603-359-6525