After two days of mechanical clearing at Butts Hill Fort, the time has come to enlist patriots who are strong of heart and back to tackle the job of beginning to open this historic Revolutionary War fort for the public.  The Butts Hill Fort Restoration Committee will hold its first Volunteer Cleanup Day on Sunday, 12 September from 8 a.m. to Noon.

Butts Hill Fort anchored the defensive line of the Continental forces during the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places as well as a location on the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, a National Historic Trail.

Butts Hill Fort prior to the start of clearing

The Fort has become overgrown with vegetation that obscures the earthworks and prevents the public from enjoying the location.  The Portsmouth Historical Society formed the Butts Hill Fort Restoration Committee to open the area so that the public may enjoy the history as well as the setting.  The goal is to be able to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence at the Fort in 2026.

Butts Hill Fort after mechanical clearing

While the tracked brush cutter knocked down a lot of vegetation, most of the Fort was inaccessible to the machine.  It requires handwork to remove debris, vines, brush and small trees.  The Committee is calling for volunteers to take this important next step toward that 2026 goal. 

Volunteers from Fort Adams Trust in Newport, who spend almost every Saturday year-round maintaining Fort Adams, will be on hand to assist on this volunteer cleanup day.

If you wish to volunteer or would like further information on the project, please email Seth Chiaro at seth.chiaro@gmail.com.

The Butts Hill Fort Restoration Committee says that Butts Hill Fort is an important, unique, and historic site, but to restore and preserve it, public financial support is critical. Your tax-free donations can be made through the Portsmouth Historical Society’s website. Scroll down to “Just Donate!!!” and click on your preferred method of payment.  When asked to designate where the donation should go, type “BHFR.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).