The Friends of Fort Dobbs announced Thursday that the reconstruction of the French and Indian War fort is about to begin. After several years of planning and a grassroots fundraising campaign, the organization has achieved their goal to begin the first phase of the project.

 Fort Dobbs was a three-story log building that housed 50 soldiers during the 1750s and helped to guard the new settlement on North Carolina's frontier. The original structure disappeared into farmland centuries ago, but research and archaeology have fueled efforts to preserve the site and to re-built the 8,000 square foot structure. As a State Historic Site, Fort Dobbs is the only site in North Carolina at which the public can learn about the state's role in the first global war.

 At Thursday's ground breaking ceremony, Secretary Susan Kluttz of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources thanked the Friends of Fort Dobbs for their tireless fundraising efforts and acknowledged the benefits of the public-private partnership between the non-profit group and the State.  Senator Andrew Brock and Representative Rena Turner received thanks on behalf of the legislature for that body's recent appropriation of $150,000 toward the total construction cost.

 The first phase of the reconstruction will include the building's foundation, chimney and the first three courses of wall logs.