The 55-year-old cast aluminum markers at Grand Gulf State Park describing the famous battle there were decrepit. Several had been so heavily damaged through the years that they had been tossed aside in a scrap pile.
When BGES members attended the “Grant Crosses the Mississippi” Third Installment in February 2018, several participants, including Doug Waters, Lee McDowell, and Mike Green, felt inspired to restore 34 cast aluminum markers.
“It was my distinct recollection that the impetus for the project was Len himself when we first toured the area,” said Lee. “The same thing happened during a tour visited the Lincoln Conspirators courtroom at Fort McNair several years ago, which turned into an ongoing BGES project as well.”
Len Riedel added: “Over 10% of BGES’s membership and several friends contributed to fund the Grand Gulf project.”
Parker Hills, who supervised the project to completion, contracted Paul Gore of A to B Signs, a Clinton, Mississippi contractor who had done a great deal of work on the Raymond battlefield. They stripped down every marker, repaired damaged signs, and then painted each one with durable outdoor paint. The project was completed in record time–having been conceived in late February 2018 and competed by September of the same year.
“All action starts with a vision, and all leaders are responsible for the actions of their organization,” said Parker. “That being said, Blue and Gray and Len Riedel can be especially proud of the Marker Restoration Project at Grand Gulf. Grand Gulf State Park has never looked better.”
Download a printable map created for the project Download a pdf map..
Learn more and see every brand-new sign Read about the project in detail.
Below are some photos of the brand-new signs and the people behind them. (Group photo by Mike Green; all others by Parker Hills.)
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