Two Groups Pledge to "Save The Tower" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Two Groups Pledge to "Save The Tower"

Posted: Updated:

DEWEY BEACH, Del. - A silent reminder of World War Two, eleven concrete towers line Delaware's coast. The towers were put in place so soldiers inside could watch for Nazi boats offshore. But according to Dr. Gary Wray with the Ft. Miles Historical Association, most people don't know that.

"The number one question people coming into Delaware particularly from the Ocean ask is 'What are these things?'" he says. 

Wray and Ernie Felici with the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation have teamed up with their prospective groups to help answer that question, and save a piece of Delaware's history.

Felici says his group got involved after restoring the Indian River Life-Saving Station.

"When that project was complete, our group said, 'Okay, maybe there's something else we can do to keep ourselves out of trouble," he says with a smile. "So we looked down the road and saw the tower, and in conversations with Gary's group, Fort Miles Historic Association and State Parks, we decided to take upon ourselves this undertaking of restoring the tower." 

That undertaking includes restoring Tower 3, located off Route 1 just south of Dewey Beach. They plan on lighting up the tower at night, creating a pavilion and listing veterans' names at the tower. They'll also add a spiral staircase so visitors can go to the top of the tower, much like people can currently do in Tower 7 in Cape Henlopen State Park.

"You cannot help, once you enter inside the tower as I did, to get a sense of history," Felici says. "And to get a sense of appreciation for those who have come before us to protect not only this coastline, but the United States."

The eleven towers stretch from Fenwick Island to Lewes. Wray says it was not a glamorous post for the soldiers, as they had to cook food in coal stoves in the sand, and climb ladders to get to the top. The towers range from 39 to 75 feet. Once inside, soldiers had a 270 degree view of the water. Wray says there were observation towers like this across the country, but Delaware's towers are still standing due to the material they were made with-- by a fluke.

"They ran out of steel. Steel was in short supply in 1941-42," he says. "The General in Philly told the Commandant to get them up, he didn't care how he did it." 

So they used concrete, which has kept the towers up 50 years past their expiration date, and in almost perfect condition. But to make Tower 3 accessible to the public, spiffed up with extra attractions like the pavilion and compliant with ADA laws, Wray and Felici are trying to raise over $2 million. They hope to get a third from the state, a third from foundations and a third from private donors. Felici and Wray said they've spent hours telling people the history of the towers, but it's been worth it.

"We want to tell that story. And once we start telling that story, people start to get enthused about it," Wray says. "It's our story to tell and by gosh we're gonna tell it." 

Adds Felici, "If it wasn't for the people who maintained these towers and operated and protected our shores, the families wouldn't be here and have the opportunity to enjoy the beach."

To learn more about Tower 3 and the restoration project, visit SaveTheTower.org

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Only 3 Players on Court at Buzzer After Cape Henlopen-Sussex Tech Basketball Brawl

    Only 3 Players on Court at Buzzer After Cape Henlopen-Sussex Tech Basketball Brawl

    Friday, January 24 2020 9:58 AM EST2020-01-24 14:58:47 GMT
    Friday, January 24 2020 6:13 PM EST2020-01-24 23:13:49 GMT
    Thursday night's fight broke out in the game's third period. (Photo courtesy: Cape Gazette/Dave Frederick)Thursday night's fight broke out in the game's third period. (Photo courtesy: Cape Gazette/Dave Frederick)
    Thursday night's fight broke out in the game's third period. (Photo courtesy: Cape Gazette/Dave Frederick)Thursday night's fight broke out in the game's third period. (Photo courtesy: Cape Gazette/Dave Frederick)
    A major fight broke out at Thursday night's Sussex Tech vs. Cape Henlopen vs. basketball game, resulting in the ejection of several players.More
    A major fight broke out at Thursday night's Sussex Tech vs. Cape Henlopen vs. basketball game, resulting in the ejection of several players.More
  • Man Killed in Early Friday Shooting in Dover

    Man Killed in Early Friday Shooting in Dover

    Friday, January 24 2020 1:06 PM EST2020-01-24 18:06:12 GMT
    Saturday, January 25 2020 12:36 AM EST2020-01-25 05:36:23 GMT
    (Photo: MGN Online)(Photo: MGN Online)
    (Photo: MGN Online)(Photo: MGN Online)
    Dover police are investigating an early Friday morning shooting that left a 19-year-old man dead.More
    Dover police are investigating an early Friday morning shooting that left a 19-year-old man dead.More
  • FAQs Regarding Puff Bars That You Should Learn

    FAQs Regarding Puff Bars That You Should Learn

    Wednesday, December 4 2019 12:33 AM EST2019-12-04 05:33:52 GMT
    Cigarette smoking was known as the most traditional way of smoking. People were hooked up to lighting a stick of cigarette to either get through a stressful moment, get rid of being nauseated, or is plainly a part...More
    Cigarette smoking was known as the most traditional way of smoking. People were hooked up to lighting a stick of cigarette to either get through a stressful moment, get rid of being nauseated, or is plainly a part of their...More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Only 3 Players on Court at Buzzer After Cape Henlopen-Sussex Tech Basketball Brawl

    Only 3 Players on Court at Buzzer After Cape Henlopen-Sussex Tech Basketball Brawl

    Thursday night's fight broke out in the game's third period. (Photo courtesy: Cape Gazette/Dave FredThursday night's fight broke out in the game's third period. (Photo courtesy: Cape Gazette/Dave Fred
    Thursday night's fight broke out in the game's third period. (Photo courtesy: Cape Gazette/Dave Frederick)Thursday night's fight broke out in the game's third period. (Photo courtesy: Cape Gazette/Dave Frederick)

    A boys basketball game between Cape Henlopen and Sussex Tech high schools devolved into a three-on-three contest after a bench-clearing brawl, and only three of those players were left on the court at the buzzer.

    Thursday night's game ended with only one player on the court for Cape Henlopen and two for Sussex Tech. Sussex Tech won the game 63-62.

    More

    A boys basketball game between Cape Henlopen and Sussex Tech high schools devolved into a three-on-three contest after a bench-clearing brawl, and only three of those players were left on the court at the buzzer.

    Thursday night's game ended with only one player on the court for Cape Henlopen and two for Sussex Tech. Sussex Tech won the game 63-62.

    More
  • Delaware School Removes Door to Enter Bathroom

    Delaware School Removes Door to Enter Bathroom

    Students at Lake Forest High School in Felton, Delaware, found doors to enter the bathroom had been removed. The school district says it was for safety reasons, based on a security analysis by Delaware State Police.

    More

    Students at Lake Forest High School in Felton, Delaware, found doors to enter the bathroom had been removed. The school district says it was for safety reasons, based on a security analysis by Delaware State Police.

    More
  • Man Killed in Early Friday Shooting in Dover

    Man Killed in Early Friday Shooting in Dover

    Dover police are investigating an early Friday morning shooting that left a 19-year-old man dead.

    Police said that just before 3 a.m., officers responded to a report of shots fired at Country Club Apartments off of Forrest Avenue.

    More

    Dover police are investigating an early Friday morning shooting that left a 19-year-old man dead.

    Police said that just before 3 a.m., officers responded to a report of shots fired at Country Club Apartments off of Forrest Avenue.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2020 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices