Tim Stone, a 30-year veteran with the National Park Service, will become the new superintendent at the Fort Sumter National Monument just in time to oversee preparations for one of its biggest events ever, the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter.

"This is quite an honor," Stone said, calling Fort Sumter "a true icon of the historical fabric of our country, where the opening engagement of the Civil War took place on April 12, 1861."

Stone said he was excited about the plans that will lead up to the anniversary in April.

He has served as the superintendent of Cowpens National Battlefield and Ninety Six National Historic Site in the Upstate since 2006. His new job starts Sunday.

Stone grew up in the Seattle area and has worked for the Park Service in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Gates of the Arctic national parks, as well as at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pa., and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. He also has worked in the agency's Washington headquarters.

National Park Service Southeast Regional Director David Vela said Stone's experience and broad range of skills make him an excellent choice.

Established as a national park site in 1948, Fort Sumter hosts more than 800,000 visitors a year, and is an important spoke in Charleston's tourism wheel.

Stone also will oversee the Fort Moultrie and Charles Pinckney sites, as well as the development and promotion of the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.