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Fort Stevens
Warrenton, Clatsop County, Oregon
Fort Stevens Oregon.JPG
Type Military base
Built 1863
Concrete, steel
In use 1863-1947
Controlled by United States Army
Battles/wars World War II attack

Fort Stevens was an American military installation that guarded the mouth of the Columbia River in the state of Oregon. Built near the end of the American Civil War, it was named for slain Civil War general and former Washington Territory governor, Isaac Stevens. The fort was an active military reservation from 1863–1947.[1] The fort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.




Civil War

Constructed during the Civil War as an earthwork battery, it was originally called Fort at Point Adams. Fort Stevens was the primary military installation in the Three Fort Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River. The other two forts in the system were Fort Canby and Fort Columbia on the Washington side of the river.[2] The fort was built to defend the mouth of the Columbia from potential British attack during ongoing regional tensions related to the Pig War of 1859–70 in the San Juan Islands, and remained relevant during the Alaska Boundary Dispute when British-American tensions were high and once again on the brink of war.

Peter Iredale

In 1906, the crew of the sailing ship Peter Iredale sought refuge at the fort after Peter Iredale's captain ran her aground on Clatsop Spit. The wreck is still visible today within the present-day boundaries of Fort Stevens State Park.

World War II

Bunker along the Fort

On the nights of June 21 and 22, 1942, a Japanese submarine fired 17 shells at Fort Stevens, making it the only military installation in the continental United States to receive hostile fire during World War II.[1] The attack caused no damage to the fort itself. The backstop for the post's baseball field was the only casualty. Fort Stevens and its gun batteries protected the river until shortly after World War II, and was decommissioned in 1947. All armament was scrapped and buildings went into auction. The grounds were transferred to the custody of the Corps of Engineers for many years until being turned over to the Oregon State Parks Dept.[1]

State park

Interior of the abandoned fort

Fort Stevens is preserved within Fort Stevens State Park, part of Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks. The 3,700 acres (15 km2) park includes camping, beach access, swimming at Coffenbury Lake, trails, and a military history museum.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Fort Stevens". The Coast Defense Study Group, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-11-23.  
  2. ^ a b "Fort Stevens State Park". Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved 2008-11-23.  

External links

Coordinates: 46°12′7″N 123°57′45″W / 46.20194°N 123.9625°W / 46.20194; -123.9625


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