Military Matters: Fort Drum Discovers Historic Bunker

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Fort Drum has played a role in our nation's defense since the Army first started training there in 1907.

More than a century later, archeologists and researchers are uncovering pieces of history from that first encampment.

"Just evidence - evidence of the structure that was once here and all the life that was going on at the time," said archeological field technician Angela McArdle.

"Whenever there's going to be new construction or to expand a training area, we will go through with that summer crew and dig in the area to make certain that there's nothing of historical significance in that area that might be damaged," said Terry Baker of the Fort Drum Cultural Resources Program.

That's a relatively new practice and a lot of important history has already been destroyed.

"We're trying to preserve what we know before it's lost, before it's lost and forgotten," said Baker.

That's about more than just posterity though; it's important for Fort Drum's future too.

Whether the area around the a recently-discovered observational bunker can be used as a training range down the road depends on the kind of  training it was used to observe.

"If there's an unexploded ordinance out here, you don't want to use this area," said Baker.

But that's a question Baker isn't sure he can answer.

The only historical record he's found: a newspaper article mentioning plans for its construction in 1927.

"I'm hoping people will see your news report and call me and say, Hey, I used to serve out at that bunker and I can tell you just what we used to do here,'" said Baker.

I you have information about the bunker, call Baker at (315) 486-0396.
 

Friday, October 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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