BATTLESHIP'S 16-INCH GUN BARREL MAKES TREK TO HARTSHORNE WOODS PARK
03/18/2015 - 03/31/2015
HISTORY ON THE MOVE AS USS NEW JERSEY 16-INCH GUN BARREL
TRAVELS TO HARTSHORNE WOODS PARK
HIGHLANDS-- Its history in the making at the Rocky Point section of Hartshorne Woods Park, Highlands. The Monmouth County Park System is restoring Battery Lewis, once part of the Navesink Military Reservation during World War II, and the only battery of its kind in New Jersey. On Monday, March 30, a 68-foot long, 120 ton, 16-inch caliber World War II gun barrel, originally mounted on the USS New Jersey, will be delivered to the location.
Designed as part of the nationís modernization of its coastal defenses, the Navesink Military Reservation was built in 1942 as part of the Harbor Defenses of New York. After World War II the guns were removed, as were many of the other structures. Still standing today are Battery Lewis, the smaller Battery 219, the stand-alone Plotting-Switchboard Room, and four Fire Control Stations. The entire 224-acre base became part of Hartshorne Woods Park as a result of two transfers of surplus land from the U.S. Government to Monmouth County.
In 2014, the former Navesink Military Reservation was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. Plans for the battery restoration are in progress, and construction will begin this spring. Once restoration is complete, visitors will be able to walk from one end of the 600-foot long battery to the other, exploring various rooms and learning through exhibits and guided tours about Battery Lewis and the historic coastal defenses of the United States. Funding for the project comes in part from the Friends of the Parks.
A key part of the restoration of this historic property is the display of a 16-inch Navy gun barrel at the original location of the guns in the battery. Originally mounted on the USS New Jersey during World War II and donated by the U.S. Navy to the Park System for permanent display, the gun barrel is traveling by rail from Norfolk, Virginia to Red Bank, where it will be offloaded to a truck for transport to Hartshorne Woods Park. At the park location it will be unloaded with a crane into its temporary position next to Battery Lewis. Once restoration of the gun barrel is complete, it will then be moved to its permanent display location in the battery casemate.
For more information on the Battery Lewis project, visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com and click on Hartshorne Woods Park under the Parks tab, or call the Park System at 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth Countyís Open Space, Parks, and Recreation agency.
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