Past Newsletters (PDF)
Fort Adams is a valuable resource, a National Landmark structure, which when restored will have an important impact on the welfare of the State of Rhode Island. This eighty-acre historical site stands ready to serve as an educational facility and a cultural center. It can become a major historic attraction for our State's tourism industry and help educate the public, especially children, on American history, military culture, architecture, engineering and technology. Fort Adams is a masterpiece of coastal defense and an untapped jewel on Narragansett Bay.
The Fort Adams Trust was founded in 1994 as a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization and is charged by its articles of incorporation with directing and supporting the stabilization, restoration, maintenance, and operation of Fort Adams as a historic site; conducting educational, cultural, and interpretive programs and activities; generating revenues that will financially sustain the Trust's programs; conducting fundraising activities to finance the stabilization, restoration and maintenance of the Fort during the short and long term; holding special events; operating a museum; employing a staff; maintaining a membership; and all other business consistent with the operation of an historic site. The Trust has prepared, with the help of past grants, a strategic master plan that encompasses these diverse requirements.
As the key funding arm of the Fort, this group of concerned citizens has made great progress in drawing the public's attention to this endangered landmark. After being closed to visitors for more than a decade due to unsafe conditions, the Fort was reopened in 1995, which also marks the beginning of the public tour program. For three years Fort Adams Adventure Days, cosponsored by local corporations, opened the summer season in May, attracting over 2000 visitors. A "Strategic Planning Workshop" with a panel of fortification experts, sponsored by RI Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission and the Prince Charitable Trust, was held in October 1995 to lay the groundwork for future actions. In 1995 the Trust also initiated an update of the 1984 Structural Condition Survey Report (the Maguire Report) which serves as the main source for restoration plans. The last big event of the 20th century in the Fort was held on July 4, 1999, when the bicentennial of the original Fort's construction was celebrated. These accomplishments offer a glimpse of the wide range of the Trust's activities, among them programming, facilities and fundraising. The collaboration with local agencies, for example, the participation of the National Guard and Navy at Adventure Day and combined efforts with other Newport nonprofit organizations makes the rescue of Fort Adams a truly community-oriented project, though simultaneously broad in scope and with national significance.
Until November 1, 1999 the Trust was a volunteer organization with no full-time staff. At that time the Trust hired an Executive Director and subsequently has hired an Executive Assistant. The Executive Director is charged with implementing the strategic plan and has briefed the Board of Directors on his initial assessment of the operation of Fort Adams. He sees the need for concerted effort in four major areas: fund development, including both an operating budget and a capital campaign; facilities restoration; programs/events; and finally marketing. All of these four areas are interrelated. Without a financially sound operation you can not build confidence and generate the funds for restoration and viable programs. The underpinning to a successful operation must be increased public awareness through a dynamic marketing program.
The activities and programs of 2001 brought over 30,000 visitors to the Fort the most successful year on record for the Fort Adams Trust. The calendar is filling up with school group tours, social events, and Trust activities including the Revolutionary and Civil War Reenactments, the Island Moving Co.'s Summer Dance Series, and the Black Ships' Taiko Drum Festival - all returning from last year.
Our most important progress, however, is on the rehabilitation and restoration front. Fort Adams has received a State Legislative Grant for $350K and a "Save America's Treasures" Grant for $500K that is a significant move forward for the restoration of the Fort. A Flag Raising Parade and Ceremony was held on Sunday, October 28, 2001, to kick off the restoration. As it was in 1799 when the citizens of Newport marched to the first Fort Adams for the dedication ceremony, the day began with a "Parade of the People" from Eisenhower House marching to the North Gate of the Fort. The highlight of the day was the historic raising of a 12 X 18-foot American flag at its original Civil War location.
Fort Adams is an irreplaceable treasure that we must save for the enjoyment
of future generations. It represents the experiences of many different
groups of our society during a period of two centuries. Your support is
critical in helping the Trust bring to life American history, military
culture, architecture and engineering. Defend the Fort by becoming a Member
of the Fort Adams Trust today, and gain the personal satisfaction of restoring
this priceless symbol of America's past.
Fort Adams Trust
90 Fort Adams Drive - Fort Adams State Park - Newport, RI 02840
Phone: (401) 841-0707