Fort D and May Greene School

The defensive earthworks around Fort D show up clearly in these aerial photos shot Nov. 6. 2010. That’s the old May Greene School at the top right.

Looks like someone is cleaning up the old junkyard east of Giboney St. on the left.

May Greene – Fort D Neighborhood

This frame, with May Greene on the left and Giboney St. running from left to right across the bottom, shows a little of the neighborhood.

Fort D roof missing

The roof on the old fort is missing, as this photo shows.

Recent stories on May Greene and Fort D

I’ve written about both buildings in the past.

18 Replies to “Fort D and May Greene School”

  1. Both May Green and Fort D are such important parts of Capes history. It would be so nice to see Cape once again embrace where it started. It is great opening your articles every day. They bring smiles and memories of “the good ol days” Thanks

  2. My friend, The Shy Reader, sent this update about how the Fort lost its roof from The Missourian in 2005:

    On the south side of Cape Girardeau, at the intersection of Fort and Locust streets, Fort D volunteer labor included loyal Civil War buffs, dedicated students and people seeking a challenge.

    Sigma Phi Epsilon members at Fort D were dubbed “mighty muscle” for emptying wheelbarrows full of debris from the Fort’s caved-in roof.

    “We chose this place to do our community service because we think this place is pretty cool and it was in the worst shape,” fraternity member Tom Asher said. “We can actually see the difference we’ve made today.”

    Fort D cleanup coordinator Scott House received help from former students at Seckman School in Imperial, Mo. The retired educator’s former sixth-graders now attend Southeast Missouri State University and decided to help House clean.

    One of them was Holly Dunlop. She quietly scrubbed the brass plate free of green discoloration to better serve as a welcoming sign to future Fort D visitors.

    “Within six months we plan to have interpretive displays along the sidewalks so that people who come here can understand why this [Fort D] is here and explain its meaning,” said House, a member of the Civil War Roundtable group.

    “The city is doing an outstanding job maintaining the grounds,” said Dub Suedekum.

    Plans to rescue the fort from any further ruin will take the work of yet-uncalculated volunteer hours.

    “We’re moving as fast as volunteer labor can,” House said.

  3. Thanks for the links to the May Greene and Fort D stories. I spent many hours playing on the grounds of Fort D, where a May Greene classmate lived for a while — and of course lots more hours at May Greene.

  4. Thanks for the pictures; The house at the north east side, across from sides steel was my parents home for number of years. 1950 til 2000.

  5. I attended May Greene for six years and have wonderful memories of the school and palying at Fort D. I made several friends that I am still in touch with. At that time it was a great area to grow up in.

  6. Going to May Greene school and looking across to Fort D every day intrigued me. To this day I’m quite a student of Civil War history.
    Weren’t ther originally 4 such forts around Cape?

  7. In photo #2, where the junk yard is, there were 5 houses. I lived in the first one, right in the bend of the road, about where the building is now. The road going up the hill and to the right is also Giboney St. That is where I spent my whole childhood. The area was called Milltown because of the sawmills. Your articles and photos sure bring back the memories. Thanks for your dedicated service.

    1. i read your post. i went to may green back in the 1960s. we lived at 1105 giboney back then. i was curious did you know carl and alice allison? they lived in one of those 5 houses you mentioned. thanks!!!

  8. I am a College High Grad married to Ruth Riehn Sahder 60. Ruth attended Mag Greene and knows this area well, thanks for the pictures. My responce is to John Martin. There is a driving map tour guide of Cape Girardeau that gives the locations of all of the Forts, the battle lines and some of the other key sites of the Civil war battle. I have not checked, but the map may be available on-line.

  9. As an elementary child at May Greene School, I also remember playing on the grounds of Fort D during our recess breaks. I am now thankful to my friends Scott and Patti House for helping to keep Fort D alive in history. They and their friends dress in Civil War period dress to show the public what things may have been like at Fort D during the war. So many Cape residents know very little about this interesting place.

  10. Having lived one block away from Fort D for 10 years (1955 to 1965) I only recently discovered my paternal great-great grandfather, William Schwettmann, helped build the four forts in Cape Girardeau. He was in Company G of Bissell’s Engineers of the West. It’s amazing what a little genealogy research can uncover.

  11. @ Orville,

    My grandmother also lived in the house you are speaking back in 1973. She lived in one of the houses just south of that house; maybe 3-4 houses away. When I started May Greene in 1961 we lived in one of the houses just south of that house also. I remember mom walking me up the hill (we just cut through the brush)to school and almost stepping on a snake, scared the crap out of me. We also at one time lived on that little street that was behind those houses; next to the tracks across from the saw mill.

  12. Vonda,
    I lived in the house in the late 40’s. We moved in 1950. Family named Ross lived in the house you are speaking of. The street next to the tracks was Fountain St. There were about 5 houses on that street also.

  13. I participated in the living history event at Fort D in Cape Girardeau over the Labor Day weekend. I brought my replica Woodruff cannon along to replicate a 1937 photo of Fort D from the archives of the Southeast Missourian which shows this rare and unusual Civil War gun positioned between the sidewalks in front of the WPA-built building on the site. I am looking for additional information and perhaps residents’ photos of the gun at Fort D while it was there. Where the original gun came from before it was at Fort D is still undetermined. It would not have been there until after the WPA building was completed in 1937. The gun disappeared probably sometime before 1966 when the caretaker who lived in the building left. I am hoping your readers might be able to help uncover more photographs of the gun at Fort D and perhaps news reports about what happened to it. It was not reported as donated to the 1942 wartime scrap metal drive as were the two World War I cannon once mounted on the concrete pylons either side of the building entrance. I can provide additional information by email, if desired.

    Thank you for your consideration.

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