GREENWOOD — If everything goes as planned, by the time Greenwood celebrates its bicentennial in the summer of 2016, the town will be home to a replica Revolutionary War blockhouse.
The structure will serve the public as the American Legion Museum of the Revolution and Patriotic Center.
The members of Jackson-Silver Post 68 of the American Legion voted at their November meeting to build the log and stone structure on land adjacent to the Legion Hall on the Gore Road and use it to house a collection of period reproduction memorabilia.
The foundation of the building, to be built of stone, will include a large stone fireplace and chimney. The basement will provide a meeting space for “groups that share with the American Legion in their stated charters,” according to an email from Post 68 Adjutant Harry Orcutt.
“These like-minded organizations will have a place to meet in fellowship, free of charge for the space,” he said.
The top two floors of the structure will be built of white pine logs donated by Orcutt from his Greenwood property. He also plans to donate many of the materials for the exhibits, including a collection of nearly two dozen reproduction Revolution-era muskets and rifles.
According to the email, displays on the first floor “will comprise the American Colonial and Revolutionary War displays and exhibits, including those devoted to indigenous and African Americans. The second and final floor will be a 30’ by 30’ space dedicated to the British, the Hessians and their Indian allies as our adversaries, and the French and Spanish as our allies.”
Plans call for the museum to be built using volunteer labor, and to be completed in time for the 2016 Bicentennial Celebration.
Orcutt said he expects the museum to be open at least three days a week from spring through midautumn. It will also be available throughout the year to host re-enactments and observances of events such as the Boston Tea Party on Dec. 16 and the Boston Massacre on March 5.
In explaining his reasons for proposing the project, Orcutt said that Greenwood, like many small towns in the northeast, sent many of its residents to fight in the Revolutionary War.
“On Patch Mountain Road, as but one example within just Oxford County, five of the original settlers were soldiers of the Revolution,” he wrote. He surmised that there may be descendants of those soldiers still living in the area who are unaware of the contribution their ancestors made to the cause of American independence.