On October 4, 2008, CAMP NO 14 conducted the SUVCW Dedication Ceremony at the Grave Site in Lakeview Cemetery in Harbor Springs, for Brother Fred Knoodle, who had served the Camp as our Civil War Memorials Officer for eight years. Fred had also served for several years on the Department’s C.W. Memorials Committee as well as serving on the Department’s G.A.R. Records Committee. Fred was the custodian of the Petoskey Confederate Cannon from 2002 until he helped transport it to Karkadoulias Bronze Art in Cincinnati in June of 2007. Fred did much of the research on this cannon and was a prime mover in its restoration and dedication on June 21, 2008. Fred was killed when he was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle. Fred had logged over 92,000 miles on his bike. Around 75 family members and friends attended the Ceremony. A luncheon was held At the First Presbyterian Church. Six Brothers from Camp 14 had served as Pall Bearers at Fred’s funeral on August 25, 2008 (Memorial Page)
The Robert Finch Camp No. 14 completed Two Major projects in 2008.
On August 23, 2008, Camp 14 dedicated and presented to Grand Traverse County two bronze plaques placed on a 10,000 pound Chilton Stone. The stone sits between the “Old Soldier’s” Monument and the 6.4 inch 100 Pounder Parrot Rifled Naval Cannon that had served on the U.S.S. Sabine during the Civil War. August 23rd was the 150th anniversary of the commissioning of the U.S.S. Sabine. PCC Neal Breaugh served as Master of Ceremonies for the Dedication Ceremony. Before the Dedication, President Marian Solem of the Frances Finch Auxiliary No. 9 placed a beautiful floral arrangement at the base of the plaques. PCC Bill Skillman spoke on the history of the “Old Soldier’s” Monument. Department Civil War Memorials Officer Doug Armstrong from Camp No.58 in DeWitt spoke on the history of this Naval Cannon. Camp Barb Jim Ribby delivered three short poems for the occasion. The Dedication Team consisted of Dave Kaplan, Commander; Don Gray, Chaplain; Jim Ribby, Officer of the Guard; Alan Werdehoff as Guard of the Plaques; the VFW Cherryland Post 2780 served as the Honor Guard and Rifle Salute Squad; taps was played by Ben and Dan Sattler. After the Dedication, Camp Commander Robert Clark presented the Stone and Plaques to Grand Traverse County Commission President Sonny Wheelock who accepted the gift.
The other significant event of 2008 occurred onJune 21, 2008. During the Petoskey Historical Days Festival, the Camp dedicated the restored Petoskey Confederate Cannon in Arlington Park, Petoskey, Michigan. Along with the Cannon and the replica Civil War NO. 2 field artillery gun carriage, the Camp also dedicated a 30X36 bronze plaque describing what is known about the history of this cannon. Before the Dedication Ceremony, the Camp had the City of Petoskey move the G.A.R. bronze plaque on a stone to a spot near our restored cannon and plaque. The G.A.R. plaque had been donated and dedicated by the Petoskey Women’s Relief Corp in1927. At our ceremony, the current National President of the Women’s Relief Corps. Marcia Butgereit, who is also a member of Camp 14’s Frances Finch Auxiliary No. 9, spoke at the ceremony. Also present at the Ceremony was Commander Al Cutshall of the John Petterson Ray Camp No. 2119 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans of Berkley, Michigan. Commander Cutshall with his Colors joined our Color Guard. Camp 14 Civil War Memorials Officer Fred Knoodle spoke on the History of the Cannon. Camp Barb Jim Ribby delivered an appropriate poem. PCC Neal Breaugh served as Master of Ceremonies. Our Conservator Mercene Karkadoulias of Karkadoulias Bronze Art was Present with her daughters and grandchildren. Marian Solem, Marcia Butgereit, Emily Breaugh and Mary Rose of our Auxiliary NO. 9 unveiled the Cannon before the Dedication Ceremony. The Dedication Team consisted of Dave Kaplan, Commander: Don Gray, Chaplain; Jim Ribby, Officer of the Guard; George Goodrich, Guard at the Cannon; The Petoskey Marine Corps League served as Honor Guard and Rifle Salute and also provided Taps. Camp 14 Commander Bob Clark then presented the Cannon and Plaque to the City of Petoskey. Petoskey Mayor Dale Meyer accepted the Cannon with some appropriate remarks. Ken Stanley, President of the Petoskey Historical Society also spoke. Subsequently, a 4 X 6 inch caste aluminum plaque was added to the Cannon in Honor of our Civil War Memorials Officer Fred Knoodle who was killed on August 21, 2008 when he was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle. The Camp had begun raising funds for this project in late 2005 and succeeded in raising close to 26,000.00 for the restoration of this one of a kind partially destroyed (12 inches of muzzle was blown away) Confederate “substitute iron Napoleon” that had been cast at a foundry in Augusta, Georgia in 1864. In the Spring of 1996 Emmet County Department of Public Works were installing new sewer lines behind Stafford’s Perry Hotel when they unearthed a heavy dirt-encrusted object, that they initially thought was a piece of broken sewer pipe. However, after removing the object from the trench and brushing away the accumulated mud, they discovered they had unearthed a cannon. The cannon was transported to the County garage and dumped out back. In July, 2002, CWMO Fred Knoodle, while searching for a different cannon missing from a Petoskey Park, was asked by the DPW head if our Camp was interested in taking this cannon off its hands before it was destroyed. We accepted and the DPW then transported the cannon to Fred’s pole barn. It was afterwards, when attempting to clean the cannon up that Brother Fred discovered its historic significance. Despite much research, we still have not been able to clearly discover just how this Confederate Cannon got to Petoskey and was buried near Stafford’s Perry Hotel. In the meantime, after raising $ 86,000.00 for the restoration of the “Old Soldier’s Monument in Traverse City, and dedicating that Monument on May 30, 2005, we contracted with Mercene Karkadoulias of Karkadoulias Bronze Art(whose Firm restored the Grand Traverse County Civil War Soldier Statue) to work her magic on the damaged Confederate Cannon. Mercene proposed to replace the missing 12 inches of muzzle and mount it on an aluminum
Robert Finch Camp No. 14 began working on these two projects in 2003. During that time they raised $ 86,000.00 for the Traverse City Monument Restoration, $ 26,000.00 for the Petoskey Confederate Cannon Restoration, and $ 8,000.00 for the Two Plaques in Traverse City for a total of $ 120,000.00. By December, 2008, everything was completely paid for, the final thank you letters with pictures had been mailed out, and the checking account for these projects was closed.