A Massachusetts fort that was the site of the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War is getting damaged and destroyed by the influx of Pokemon Go players visiting the site.
The Revolutionary War fort, Fort Phoenix, which was destroyed in 1778, but later rebuilt, will be one of the topics discussed by the Fairhaven Board of Selectmen Monday night.
The volunteer caretaker of Fort Phoenix, Gary Lavalette, has expressed concerns over the game since it has caused so much damage to the hallowed grounds in which brave men fought for freedom during the Revolutionary War.
Lavalette told ABC6 that the Pokemon Go players have destroyed the site, digging up dirt looking for treasure, leaving behind a ton of trash and going to the bathroom on the site because restrooms close at 5 pm but players stay out late, even sometimes past the parks 10 pm closing time.
“We’re filling up a 30-yard dumpster in four days … we had a thirty foot stone wall that someone literally took apart with a crow bar,” Lavalette told ABC6. “In some parts of the fort it looks like a mine field.”
Lavalette said that the game is attracting hundreds of Pokemon Go players to the fort, but they do not understand its significance in history.
Lavalette told NBC10 that the grass and the walls are getting destroyed because people are digging up the ground looking for treasure as well as taking apart stone walls using items such as crowbars.
Lavalette said that one of the wheels on a historic cannon was destroyed, costing them $2,000 to replace the pair of them.
“People are standing with their back to them and then with their feet spinning them around. Our historical commission has very limited budget sometimes with these pricey things we have to wait two years,” Lavalette told NBC10.
Lavalette added that trash has been piling up at the fort, nearly tripling the amount of daily trash before the game was launched.
“We went from four barrels to eleven, and in two days’ time they will all be filled to the top,” Lavalette said.”
He also added that Pokemon Go players have been staying passed the parks closing time, causing them to get police to force them to leave.