Riedel Foundation Grant Will Help Establish Memorial to Early 19th Century Fort in Ralls County

The George H. Riedel Foundation has awarded a $6,000 grant to help build a memorial to Fort Mason, which played a role in the War of 1812.

Fort Mason was built near Saverton, MO, but very few people know it existed. Its purpose was to fortify the area against the native population in the early 1800’s. Local resident Bill Dexheimer lives near the site and started an intensive research project that has led to the effort to educate and establish a memorial to the Fort which has basically been lost to history for two centuries.

“The placement of a memorial of the fort will provide visitors with their most compelling and tangible link to the past and serve to inspire further investigation into the history of our area and nation,” Dexheimer said.

It will take about $53,000 to build the Ft. Mason monument, though a good portion of the work will be from volunteer efforts and in-kind donations. The Riedel grant portion of the monument will provide for bronze informational plaques about the fort and its contribution to history.

Riedel Trustee Bill Craigmiles said, “Our hope is that students in the Hannibal School District will visit this site to learn more about the role of our area in the War of 1812. But this is not just something school children should learn, it’s important for all of us to know and understand history.” He would like to see the monument bring in out-of-town visitors, which will help boost the Hannibal economy.

The Fort Mason Memorial project will start in July and it should be ready for visitors by next spring.

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