Group hopes to recreate 1859 Richmond Fort

RICHMOND—A group of former and current members of the community will gather tonight for what they hope will be the first step in the recreation of Richmond Fort. Settlers first arrived in Richmond in the summer of 1859, establishing Richmond Fort the following spring.

City Councilwoman Terrie Wierenga is heading the group, which hopes to create a permanent living history experience in commemoration of the early settlers. There will be an open meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the City Hall building, with all interested people invited to attend.

Wierenga said the group is hoping to purchase a piece of land located somewhere off the highway, presumably near the original settlement located in the area currently occupied by the city park.

“People can stop and try their hand at churning butter, hand pressing apple cider — a whole scheme of things,” Wierenga said of the activities which would presumably be available to the public. Wierenga said the recreated fort would cover events from several decades earlier than those currently featured at Cache Valley’s American West Heritage Center.

The group hopes to put in place a formal committee to oversee the operation, while also assigning others to fund-raising. Wierenga said getting the operation started is “mostly contingent on the funding.” She said the group wants to fund the project without receiving any assistance from the city budget.

“We don’t want the city to end up with a white elephant on its hands,” Wierenga said.

The future of the project still remains relatively uncertain, though Wierenga is optimistic the group will be successful. She said an unofficial meeting in late June designed “to test the waters” yielded a great deal of interest and support from citizens.

“Realistically, if everything lines up, we could have something lined up in three years,” Wierenga said.

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.