In a ceremony held on June 24, 2016, Gov. Jack Markell unveiled a wayside exhibit (illustrated sign) installed by the New Castle Community Partnership at the site of Fort Casimir located along the Delaware River at present-day Second and Chestnut streets in New Castle, Del. Built by the Dutch in 1651, the fort was the site of a decisive battle between the Dutch and English in 1664 that helped establish English control of the Delaware Valley. Although remaining sections of the fort are no longer visible, the site marks an important place in American history as the location of one of the first inter-European battles in what is now known as the United States.
The unveiling ceremony coincides with the June 23, 2016 announcement by the National Park Service that the New Castle Historical Society had been awarded a $71,500 grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program in order to identify and delineate the boundaries of the Fort Casimir Battlefield, and to determine the extent of subsurface remains of both the fort and related sites in the surrounding area. As part of the grant project, archaeologists will conduct select subsurface- and ground-penetrating-radar-testing that will help locate any artifacts present at the site. After the investigation, a report will be produced, distributed to the public and used in developing future educational materials.
In addition to Gov. Markell, speakers at the unveiling ceremony included Cindy Snyder, site supervisor of New Castle Court House Museum who served as master of ceremonies; Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic who served as one of the leaders of the 2012 archaeological investigations of Fort Casimir; Russ Smith, former superintendent of the First State National Historical Park; and Jim Meek, a member of the Trustees of the New Castle Common. Historical reenactors from the Garrison of New Amstel provided an exciting visual component to the ceremony in their portrayal of the Dutch soldiers who manned Ft. Casimir.