About the Friends of Fort Griswold
We are all aware that the pace of America today leaves so little time to remembering our great heroes and the meaning of America. So much of our time is taken to paying homage to today’s celebrities, those whose bright lights shine only briefly, but still there is no shortage of patriots who love this country; occasionally you find a teacher, a club scout leader or some other dedicated individual with a special dedication or calling who will take the time to foster understanding of the virtues of our unique heritage.
This is also the mission of the Friends of Fort Griswold.
The purpose of the Friends of Fort Griswold is to work to preserve, restore, maintain, and promote the historic value, earthworks, buildings, and grounds, known as Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park in cooperation with the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
In October 1994 a number of individuals with interest in Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park formed a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to help preserve and maintain the history of the fort.
On May 3, 1995, the group called the Friends of Fort Griswold was incorporated to raise funds to preserve this historic Revolutionary site.
Repairs begin on the Groton Monument on August 1, 2009. Funds for the repairs remained intact despite the state’s financial crisis. The repair of the Monument was deemed an ongoing project and, as such, was not subject to budget cuts.
To accomplish our mission, The Friends of Fort Griswold has purchased the following items:
Computer and digital camera
Museum inventory program
The Monument House Museum collection was the first CT state museum to be totally digitally inventoried. We have signed the program license over to the state, and it is now being implemented on a state-wide basis.
Junior Docent Program
Op Sail Tours
Provide funding for supplies and small repairs to the fort
Purchasing and preserving documents related to the building and history of the fort.
Sailors from the United States Navy worked at Fort Griswold for Earth Day on Tuesday April 21, 2014. There were about 30 volunteers, all of them stationed at the Submarine Base in Groton. Their work included clean up, repair, and painting on the grounds of the Fort.
We provided the supplies (including paint and painting materials) for the sailors.
Thank you, Johnson’s Hardware in Groton for working with us and giving the Friends a discount for the purchase of the items.
Archiving of Museum Collection
The Friends have provided archival material for the museum collection for the last few years. Now all of the documents and books at the Monument House Museum are stored properly.
The Friends also purchased the computer program for inventorying the museum’s collection.
2017 to today
Grant Received from the Society of the Cincinnati
The Friends received a $1,500 grant for signage from the society of the Cincinnati. The funding is going toward a granite sign at the main gate to the Fort that is carved with the words “Fort Griswold 1775” in 3” high lettering In smaller lettering it will say “Donated by the Society of the Cincinnati.” The sign will be erected on two granite pillars.
There currently is no sign at the actual entrance to the Fort proper denoting its name and date of construction.
The Society is composed of descendants of the first sons of Gen. George Washington’s officers, and their French counterparts. Learn more about the Society of the Cincinnati.
Mannequins Purchased for Uniforms
Our group recently purchased museum-quality mannequins to display our two reproduction Revolutionary War uniforms. The uniform on the left is a reproduction of Col. Ledyard’s uniform that we had made specifically for the 225th. On the right is a reproduction Colonial artillery man’s uniform that was donated to the Friends several years ago. Together, the two mannequins cost approximately $600. Transporting the assembled mannequins and dressing them was quite a challenge, but members David Rose, Paul Duarte, Ralph and Sally Whitney, and Leslie Evans proved up to it.
The State of Connecticut, with reduced tax revenues, was forced to make a difficult decision about where and how monies should be spent. The choice was made to eliminate funding for flags for Connecticut State Parks.
The Friends want to keep the American flag flying over Fort Griswold. Because of high winds and other environmental challenges, it is estimated that the Fort will need twelve (51/2’ by 81/2’) flags a year at a cost of $70.00 to $80.00 each.
New interpretive signs were installed on the platform in 2019.