New Event Venue, Improvements at Fort Miles
LEWES, Del.- There's a new future for a piece of Delaware military history.
On Thursday, elected officials, volunteers and history lovers celebrated improvements to Fort Miles. The World War Two facility turned museum now features an event venue, a new parking lot and access road.
"The more we can improve it the more that we can have kind of history brought back to life here," DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin tells WRDE. "I think it's not only good for our state parks but it's really good for us remembering kind of the history and the greatest generation ever."
Garvin says the investments will also bring more people into Cape Henlopen State Park, which in turn drives the economy. Southern Delaware Tourism Director Scott Thomas says the new event venue will be a big draw for visitors--especially larger groups.
"You get the scenic beauty tied to the amazing historic connections here which really bodes well for travel to this area," he says. "What a wonderful attraction."
The venue has already hosted one wedding and a book signing.
Fort Miles Historical Association Director Dr. Gary Wray says a grant from the Longwood Foundation helped make the improvements a reality. Wray says the association has wanted to create a venue there for years. In addition to the new features, the Fort Miles museum in Battery 519 is expanding its hours too.
"For the first time we've got the museum open six days a week 10-4," he says. "Our parks partners give tours. Every Sunday we give tours. Starting in two weeks in the middle of July we'll have it open seven days a week, so people can visit."
Even more improvements are planned for Fort Miles in the coming years. Wray says the association is receiving a piece of steel from the U.S.S. Arizona. When the steel is placed alongside the gun from the U.S.S. Missouri, Fort Miles will be the only place in America aside from Pearl Harbor to have pieces of both the beginning and the end of World War Two.
For more on Fort Miles, click here.