A groundbreaking ceremony for the Fort Nonsense Historical Park will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the site on Route 3 near the intersection with Route 14.
Past and current Mathews County officials, state elected officials, Commonwealth Transportation Board representative Cord A. Sterling, Mathews County Historical Society members and the contractor will be on hand to commemorate the beginning of construction for the 2.94-acre park after 10 years of planning and fundraising by the historical society. The public is invited.
MCHS vice president Frank Lansinger said that one of the primary initial goals with the project was to provide a gateway park at the entrance to Mathews County, but the project has become more than that because of the fort’s historical significance. Fort Nonsense was discovered to be one of only a handful of undisturbed and surviving Confederate forts in the South and has been designated as a site on the Virginia Civil War Trails.
Early in the process, former county administrator Steve Whiteway and Dr. Pete Jennette, chair of the Fort Nonsense Committee of the MCHS, led the successful effort to acquire restoration funds through a Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation, Lansinger said.
With those grant funds, the county and historical society retained the planning consultant firm Land Studio to develop plans for the park and to guide the restoration process, and contractor Henry S. Branscome LLC of Williamsburg has been retained to perform the construction.