I know this is a long blog but today I am asking for help. My friend Johanna and I are working on a self guided tour about Fort Bragg Oddities and realized three of the eight remaining horse and buggy tie-down rings could soon be lost. Johanna wrote the following letter:
Dear Mr. Mayor and City Council Members,
Yesterday, while working on a project for the Fort Bragg Promotion Committee, I discovered we are about to lose a small, but important part of Fort Bragg’s history. I’m writing today to ask you to please “Save our Horse-and-Buggy Rings.”
My project is a self-guided walking tour of Fort Bragg. I’m collaborating with Ron Bloomquist, a Fort Bragg resident who walks Fort Bragg most early mornings, and documents interesting discoveries he finds on his Walking Fort Bragg blog.
One of his finds, the horse and buggy rings in the curbs around town, is an important part of the walking-tour. If you’ve never noticed the rings, it’s easy to see a good example as there’s one on the curb across from City Hall on North Franklin Street.
Ron realized the rings may be in danger as the North Franklin Street improvement projects progress. A quick conversation with city planner Sean O’Rourke led us to believe the city had not considered the historical significance of the rings, and had not planned to return them to their curbs.
I know the rings are a small feature, but they’re an important building block of our historical identity. The city’s design guidelines include an objective of promoting a clear identity and sense of place; the rings are unique and clearly communicate a sense of our community.
I believe removing the rings is simply an oversight, so I’m writing to bring the matter to your attention. In addition, I’m asking the council to create a two part policy. First, I’m hoping you will direct construction crews to safely extract, and replace, the horse-and-buggy rings whenever an improvement project requires their removal. I also request the policy include direction to preserve historical features in future improvement projects.
Finally, please be aware time is of the essence. I understand the rings on North Franklin Street curb will be removed within the next few weeks. I am happy to answer questions, attend sub-committee or planning meetings, or collaborate in whatever manner would be helpful.
I walked over and took some photos this morning of the ring across from City Hall and this one (one of two) just north of the First Baptist Church.
While I was taking these photos a man came walking by. I asked him, "Do you know these horse and buggy rings could soon be gone. His reply:
“Well, uh, nobody comes to town on a horse anymore.”
I hope we can do better than that.
Here is the Fort Bragg City Council's e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send them your thoughts.