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Dahlgren cannon poured at Bay Cast Inc. replicates gun on Admiral Farragut's flagship.

DELTA BUILDS: Construction Class Kiosk to Highlight Battery Park

Re-Dedication of Restored Downtown Park Slated June 21

May 1, 2016       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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One of Bay City's most historic sites, Battery Park, is being restored and fitted with appropriate tourist attractions and donor memorials for a new life in downtown Bay City.

The park, that dates to the Civil War era, is the focal point of a restoration in which the City of Bay City, County of Bay, and the Bay County Library System are cooperating with the sponsoring Bay Veterans Foundation.

Additionally, Bay Cast, Inc., and Delta College, each is playing important roles in creating attraction points for the park.

Bay Cast is casting replica cannon, a Dahlgren cannon used on Admiral Farragut's flagship during the Civil War, and a siege mortar like one from Fort Sumter, South Carolina, that were displayed in Battery Park from the 1880s until 1942.

Bay Cast also is casting a carriage for the Dahlgren cannon while a wooden base for the mortar cannon is being constructed by Nelson Niederer.

Historical researchers have found that while Bay City contributed its cannon to the war armaments effort in World War II, some other Michigan cities did not follow suit and still have their original artillery pieces on display.

Since original cannon like those once displayed in Bay City is not available, Max and Scott Holman of Bay Cast, Inc., are recreating the huge guns according to original specifications.

Rebecca Bushong the technical Trades and Manufacturing Division facility manager at Delta College has been following the progress of a kiosk a college construction class is constructing that is central to the Battery Park Restoration. Keeping with the Bay City theme, Gougeon Brothers epoxy is being used in construction of the kiosk.

Please see video of kiosk's roof construction at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djT16tJVkuE

Dave Bledsoe, the instructor, is guiding the class in the construction of the kiosk, actually a six-sided building approximating the early 20th-century traffic and railroad control shelter that stood at that intersection. The replica building will feature memorials to donors to the project and historical information about the park.

The original building stood at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Center Avenue crossing for the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad and was used by the railroad's traffic control officer.

Keith Markstrom, president of the Bay Veterans Foundation, is heading fundraising for the $110,000 park restoration. Donors are still being sought for the landscaping and costs of the kiosk that soon will be moved intact from Delta to the park. Donor recognition will be displayed on the kiosk.

Riggers soon will load the 3,000-pound building on a truck and transport it to downtown Bay City. The park is slated for re-dedication Tuesday, June 21 at 5 p.m., with retired Col. Roger Donlon, first Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam conflict, doing the honors.

Col. Donlon is making a return visit to the area to promote exposition of the Medal of Honor character development curriculum to local teachers and school administrators. He was here last year to help publicize a seminar explaining the curriculum to educators.

Participating teachers at the free session Tuesday, June 21, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Saginaw Intermediate School District Transition Center, 3860 Fashion Square Blvd., will receive 5 State Continuing Education (SEUCH) clock hours for their participation.

Interested teachers and school administrators may visit www.cmohedu.org to register for the Medal of Honor curriculum training.

Ms. Bushong took it upon herself to create a YouTube video of prints and pictures of the progression of the project. It is approximately 7 minutes long and very descriptive. She is going to continue to edit and add as time moves on. I thought some would like this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djT16tJVkuE

Battery Park originally was laid out in the plat of the City of Bay City hand drawn by pioneer James G. Birney in 1849. The original copy of the plat is archived at the Clements Library of America, endowed by Mr. Clements at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1922.

Local military personnel returning from conflicts overseas were welcomed in public events at Battery Park after World War I. That park, Wenonah Park and the downtown area were decked out in patriotic bunting, and hospitality booths, and other temporary structures were erected for girls and women handing out beverages, snacks and candy to the returning veterans.

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at carraroe@aol.com)

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