The Man Who Saved the Fort – Paranormal History

The Man Who Saved the Fort – Paranormal History

August 19, 2019 14 By William Hollis


so I think we should tell them a little
bit about how the fort actually got saved don’t you think they’re peeps and
welcome to another special edition of our haunted travels I am your host Sean
Donnelly I’m your co-host Maryann Donnelly
today we are telling you about the man who saved for Zachary Taylor but before we get into that if you like
paranormal history or forensic type videos you’re in the right spot right
now here’s what you want to do is go ahead and click that subscribe button
and ring the bell and you’ll get notified you next time panning the
videos puts out a new video that’s right so the man who saved fort zachary taylor
we’ve been covering the fort all this week we’ve already put out a couple
videos and tomorrow we’re gonna go over the history of the fort and tomorrow’s
video but tonight we want to tell you a little bit about what we found which is
kind of cool what made this a very special video some of the history about
a gentleman named Howard s England and I had reached out somehow I found his son
his son’s email on a picture that was posted on Flickr and I sent him an email
and I got some information back which is pretty cool and is really cool love the
fact that you were able to get in contact with his son yeah so his son’s
name is Edward England so big thank you to him for sending us some information
and making this even a better video now there is a website out there called
fort taylor dot-org and it’s dedicated to the legacy of fort zachary taylor and
specifically howard england so i put a link to that down in the description of
this video i also posted it out on our research thing on patreon – very cool
website and actually edward sent it to you this is the one that said hey check
out our website which is pretty cool stuff out there so let’s get started
with Howard the man who saved the fort now those of you probably don’t know
this because you haven’t saw the history about this yet but you know the fort
itself was actually just a storage dumping yard for the Navy pretty much it
never did see any actual battle but didn’t see any action and it was it
changed hands from the Army to the navy and then the navy just used it for
storage and dumping ground basically and this story that we’re gonna tell you is
how actually mr. England will refer to him as mr. England got involved and
found some very cool information about the fort and saved it from probably
being demolished I would assume so a little bit about mr. England himself he
was born in 1914 and unfortunately passed away in 1999 he’s responsible I
would say wholeheartedly for saving the fort from the information that he
discovered and dug up right I I think that it would probably just been left to
eventually crumble if it wasn’t for what they found what he found is right he was
born in Key West Florida and he was a civilian architect for the Navy now wikipedia says that the way this got
started was he went out on his own to investigate the fourth in the article
that his son sent me it stated that he was asked he was tasked with the duty of
going out and finding information about the fort I believe the article were
Wikipedia you know yes just saying yeah I’m gonna assume that his son had a
little bit to do with the you know article itself and he of course has all
the family history and so forth rather than Wikipedia so let’s get into how the
fort was actually saved okay now the way this basically went down in
the fall of 1968 he was asked to do some research about the fort like you said it
never saw any military action okay but it did serve as part of the Army and the
Navy mmm-hmm 1968 basically was just sitting around and they asked him hey
can you just do a little bit of research about the fort and find out about some
of the history that was in the fall December 21st of 1968 which is kind of
an important date and we a little bit messed up on this okay because this was
scheduled to come out on December 21st but with the holidays and no Christmas
yeah but with the 50th anniversary okay which the 21st marked at 15 that’s the
first excavation that they did at the fort they meaning mr. England mr.
England and his team and what he discovered in his research basically was
true that there was a lot of Civil War really armaments that was buried
at the fort right okay so for the next eight years eight years mr. England and
his team which they called what they call the sand hogs
yeah they laboured at the for escalating and uncovering some of these cannons and
stuff at the fort which basically saved the fort from being demolished right
because it that eventually led to its being put on the national registers and
things like that but I can I can believe that it would
have taken that long because he had a very small team and I’ve been on
archaeological digs and I did two years just on a real small cemetery that is
now a parking lot this facility this site is just cute
I am surprised it only took eight years so speaking of that let’s talk about
what they went through okay so first of all they went through 24 shovels which
again did person does not surprise me at all over a thousand five-gallon buckets
which were just thrown about there because it was just a story of yard
trash that they use and they went through fifty thousand cubic yards of
rock and rubble that they dug through that’s pretty amazing
but what they ended up doing was uncovering twenty coastal artillery
pieces along with the carriages that gun chasse sees thousands rounds of
ammunition and throughout the years that he spent there at the fort he met
various many many Civil War historians that came down there and they all
basically told him it was the largest collection of silver war-era coastal
cannons anywhere anywhere that was buried there on the grounds that just
based on his research and determination they found all that and recovered all
that which is pretty cool yeah super cool actually so why don’t you cover a little bit
let’s backtrack a little bit on how he got involved okay well as you mentioned
he was native to Key West itself and in fact he was pretty smart cookie
he ended up graduating as valedictorian of his class there at Key West High
School in 1932 and then when the war broke out World War two that is he
decided I really want to be part of this and he requested to be drafted as a
photographer for the six Marine Corps division that’s right for this he ends
up going to Guadalcanal he goes to Okinawa gets into some pretty historic
places at the time during the war that would later become historic but after
the war he returns back home to Key West marries his sweethearts of course but he
does that he ends up having two sons and a daughter and he decides to pursue an
architecture career and so he does this and he becomes an engineer for the
Navy’s the Navy’s public works division eventually though he does reach the
retirement age and so he retires from civil service in 1972 but he continued
working as a volunteer that’s right he was unpaid but he continued to
volunteer with the Navy’s permission and following the name of the fort as a
National Historic Site in 71 he became the unofficial curator so he was the
curator for the fort and all in those artifacts that he helped to find and
uncover and then when it receives the national landmark status in 73 he served
as the only known private individual ever to be entrusted with the care of
such important property but it makes sense I mean he found it yeah well when
the state of Florida received the Florida’s property in 1976 it actually
hired mr. Englund as a laborer until he of course had the opportunity to attend
Ranger Academy and then of course in 79 became the first permanent park ranger
to be assigned now in 1984 he was forced to retire
because of age mandatory age of 70 yeah very sad he was forced to retire he
spent most of his adult life with the fork right well of course as you said a
lot of his career was right there and in fact he created detailed engineering
drawings remember he was an architect of the armaments that he found there and he
built 20 different very highly detailed museum models as well of all of those
things that well those models also depicted the way the fort look during
the Civil War era that’s right that’s right yes and then
in 1983 just before that mandatory retirement he presented he was presented
with the first-ever Distinguished Service Medal for Park Service employees
and in 1999 it continues he’s actually named the great Floridian by the Florida
Department of State and the Florida League of Cities in recognition for all
his tireless efforts right there at Fort Taylor so again in reality if it wasn’t
for all of his work and all of his effort and his dedication I mean again
this is another person that is one of our heroes dedicated his life to that
facility in saving that facility and his dream was it for it to become a national
park for others to go and enjoy and learn about the history and things like
that and that happened it did he made it happen and also there’s
there’s like beaches there that you can go and there’s all kinds of things that
you can do there so it’s a it’s a very very cool location that we just kind of
like came upon our whims yeah let’s go down and check out there’s a fort down
there let’s go check that out that’s great glad we did it was on the
map wait we got a map when we went when we got there and let’s go see the fort
all right so before we end this video is there anything else you would like to
add pretty much covered at all there’s one more thing I would like to to
mention well today all of the items that he found aren’t actually there some of
some things are still undisplaced some little things they have some of the the
rooms in the fort kind of set up with some things that were found and things
like that but the majority of them have actually been moved to Tallahassee yeah
and some of them are in East Martello using them that’s right we chose not
hello hmm that one’s coming yeah but yeah because of hurricanes and things
like that they had to move yeah safeguard that hopefully one day
that organization that will be able to build a facility there to bring that
stuff back to the location that’s that’s one thing that the work yeah absolutely
but I will end it with this somebody asked him one time why he spent so much
of his life and time dedicating you know dedicated to his work yeah I mean he had
a family yeah and his response was quite simple
someone had to do it someone had to do it and so he thought why not himself
yeah pretty cool well we hope you enjoyed this video hope you learned
something pretty cool stuff until next time thanks for watching and happy
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