Fort Worden: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fort Worden
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark District
Historic buildings at Fort Worden.
Location: Cherry and W Sts.
Port Townsend, Washington
Architect: US Government War Dept.
Governing body: Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Added to NRHP: March 15, 1974 [1]
Designated NHLD: December 8, 1976[2]
NRHP Reference#: 74001954

Fort Worden is a fort and Fort Worden State Park is a state park that it includes it, located in Port Townsend along Admiralty Inlet in the U.S. state of Washington.[3] It is situated on 433 acres (175 ha) originally built as a United States Army installation for the protection of Puget Sound. Fort Worden was named after U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Lorimer Worden, commander of the USS Monitor during the American Civil War.

Contents

History

The North Beach at Fort Worden.

Fort Worden was an active US Army base from 1902 to 1953. It was purchased by the State of Washington in 1957 to house a juvenile detention facility. In 1971, use was transferred to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and Fort Worden State Park was opened in 1973.

Advertisements

Strategic location

Admiralty Inlet was considered so strategic to the defense of Puget Sound in the 1890s that three forts, Fort Worden, Fort Flagler, and Fort Casey, were built at the entrance with huge guns creating a "Triangle of Fire" that could theoretically thwart any invasion attempt by sea. Fort Worden, on the Quimper Peninsula, at the extreme northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, sits on a bluff near Port Townsend, anchoring the northwest side of the triangle.

Fort Worden was one of three artillery installations built around Admiralty Inlet at the beginning of the 20th century to protect Puget Sound from hostile naval activity. Though its guns never fired a hostile shot and were removed during World War I for use in Europe, Fort Worden was used for training a variety of military personnel and for other defense purposes. These three posts, established in the late 1890s, became the first line of a fortification system known as the "Triangle of Fire" and were designed to prevent a hostile fleet from reaching such targets as the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett.

Construction

Alexander's Castle.

Construction on Fort Worden began in 1897 and continued in one form or another until the fort was closed in 1953.

Construction work on the initial fortifications above Point Wilson were delayed until July 1897. The property was privately owned and the government had to clear title to the land through condemnation proceedings. The Army Corps of Engineers took charge of building the construction dock, warehouses, and a tramway to haul concrete for the gun emplacements from the dock to the mixing plant. To meet construction needs, the Army laid a pipeline from Port Townsend and pumped water into large storage tanks inside the fort. The arrival of wet winter weather slowed progress on the batteries. It took 200 men almost three years to complete the excavation and concrete work for the gun emplacements.

In March 1900, the fort was ready for installation of the initial armaments. Sixteen artillery pieces, shipped from the armory at Columbus, Ohio, arrived from Tacoma by barge. A special tramway was constructed to haul the heavy artillery pieces from the dock area to top of the bluff. In March 1901 the guns were moved to their assigned positions and mounted in the batteries, ready for test firing.

Fort Worden was activated in 1902. The 126th Coast Artillery Company, consisting of 87 soldiers, commanded by Captain Manus McCloskey, was the first detachment assigned to Fort Worden. They arrived from Seattle on board the steamer SS Majestic on May 3, 1902, and were quartered in tents pending the completion of the barracks. Twenty-three permanent buildings were under construction at a cost of $59,450. A communication system, connecting the three forts by cable, was installed in 1903.

Military use

On September 4, 1904, the headquarters of the Harbor Defense Command of Puget Sound was transferred from Fort Flagler to Fort Worden along with the 6th Artillery Band. Once work on the main batteries and army post had been completed, more troops were assigned there. By the fall of 1905, Fort Worden was fully staffed with four Coast Artillery companies, and the harbor defense system, costing approximately $7.5 million, was considered complete and operational. The initial armaments consisted of six gun emplacements: Batteries Ash, Powell, Brannon, Quarles, Randol, and Vicars. Between 1905 and 1910, six additional gun emplacements were added: Batteries Tolles, Stoddard, Benson, Putnam, Walker, and Kinzie. When completed, Fort Worden had 41 artillery pieces, completing its part of the "Triangle of Fire": two 12-inch disappearing guns, two 12-inch barbette guns, two 10-inch disappearing guns, five 10-inch barbette guns, eight 6-inch disappearing guns, two 5-inch pedestal guns, four 3-inch pedestal guns, and sixteen 12-inch mortars.

During World War I, the complement at Fort Worden was greatly expanded as soldiers arrived for training prior to being sent to European battlefields. To keep up with the demand, construction of new barracks and buildings continued throughout the war. Thirty-six of the fort's 41 artillery pieces were dismantled and shipped to European battlefields. After World War I, the fort's staffing was reduced to 50 officers and 884 enlisted men. Aircraft and balloons began to claim an important role in Puget Sound's defensive strategy, diminishing the role of coastal artillery. In the 1920s, a balloon hangar was built at Fort Worden at a cost of $85,000. During this time, some of the batteries were modernized and made "bomb-proof."

During World War II, Fort Worden remained the headquarters of the Harbor Defense Command and it was jointly operated by the Army and the Navy. The fort was home to the 14th Coast Artillery Regiment of the U.S. Army, the 248th Regiment of the Washington National Guard, the 2nd Amphibious Engineers, and miscellaneous U.S. Navy personnel. The Army operated radar sites and coordinated Canadian and U.S. defense activities in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. The Navy, responsible for the detection and identification of all vessels entering and leaving Puget Sound, monitored new underwater sonar and sensing devices. Most of the gun emplacements were modified for anti-aircraft guns, which replaced the outdated coastal artillery pieces. Fort Worden personnel also manned batteries and fire control towers at the Cape George Military Reservation, six miles (10 km) southwest of Port Townsend on the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the entrance to Discovery Bay.

After World War II, the Coast Artillery units at Fort Worden were disbanded and the gun batteries were dismantled. It remained active as an administrative unit until June 30, 1953, when the Harbor Defense Command was deactivated and the fort officially closed, ending fifty-one years of military jurisdiction. On July 1, 1957, the State of Washington purchased Fort Worden for $127,533 for use as a diagnostic and treatment center for troubled youths.

Coastal artillery batteries located at Fort Worden were [4]:

  • Battery Brannan (1901–1943), located on Artillery Hill. It had two plotting rooms for eight 12 inch mortars, in 1906 command was split and removed one plotting room, in 1918 half the mortars were removed from each pit. It was named for Brevet Maj. General John Milton Brannan who served in the U.S.-Mexican War and Civil War
  • Battery Powell (1901–1943), located next to Battery Brannan. Also contained eight 12 inch mortars. Named after Major Powell who died on April 6, 1862 at the Battle of Shiloh.
  • Battery Ash (1900–1942), located on Artillery Hill. Contained two barbette guns. It was named after Brevet Lt. Col Ash who died on May 8, 1864 at Todd's Tavern, Virginia
  • Battery Kinzie (1910–1944), located on Point Wilson, contained two 12 inch disappearing guns.
  • Battery Benson (1907–1943), located on Artillery Hill. It contained two 10 inch disappearing guns. It was named after Captain Benson who died on August 11, 1862 from wounds received in action. Battery Benson has a tunnel that runs to buildings (now in ruins)on the hill peak, two barrancas buildings used for command and plotting, a barracks, a 2,000,000-US-gallon (6.1 acre·ft) water reservoir, the switchboard, and signal station.
  • Battery Quarles (1900–1941), located on Artillery Hill. It contained three 10 inch barbette guns. It was named for Captain Quarles who died on August 30, 1847 at the Battle of Churubusco, Mexico
  • Battery Randol (1900–1918), located on Artillery Hill. It contained two 10 inch barbette guns. It was named for Brevet Brigadier General Randon, a Civil War hero.
  • Battery Stoddard (1906–1917), located on the bluff facing Admiralty Inlet. Contained four 6-inch (152 mm) guns.
  • Battery Tolles (1905–1943), located along the beach bluff below Artillery Hill. Contained four 6-inch (152 mm) guns, two guns were removed in 1918.
  • Battery Tolles B (1937–1946);
  • Battery Vicars (1902–1917), located on Point Wilson. Contained two 5-inch (127 mm) guns.
  • Battery Putnam (1907–1945), located on the bluff facing Admiralty Inlet. Contained two 3-inch (76 mm) guns.
  • Battery Walker (1907–1946), located on the bluff facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Contained two 3-inch (76 mm) guns.
  • AMTB Battery Point Wilson (1943–1946), of which one gunblock is now in the surf.

Fort Worden State Park

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission acquired most of Fort Worden on September 30, 1971, when the state closed the juvenile treatment center. The 433-acre (175 ha) Fort Worden State Park was opened on August 18, 1973.[5] Today the 2.1 miles (3.4 km) of sandy beaches and high bluffs attract residents from around the region to the multi-use recreation facility.

The extensive system of large, abandoned bunkers are available for exploration. The state park includes the Coast Artillery Museum, a balloon hangar that was used for airships, three 3-inch anti-aircraft gun emplacements, and several restored quarters on Officers' Row. The Point Wilson Lighthouse is also located here.

The Commanding Officer's Quarters have been restored to reflect the early 20th century Victorian period, and are open in the summer for tours.

The tiny independent publisher of poetry, Copper Canyon Press, located permanently at Fort Worden in 1974.[6]

The park also is the home of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, whose natural history museum, hands-on tidepool exhibits and educational programs promote understanding about coastal ecosystems.

The 1982 movie, An Officer and a Gentleman, was filmed at Fort Worden, as well as the 2002 film The Ring.

360° Panorama from Fort Worden State Park, Point Wilson on a sunny July evening at sunset. Batteries Kinzie and Vicars nearby.

References

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. http://www.nr.nps.gov/.  
  2. ^ "Fort Worden". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1491&ResourceType=District. Retrieved 2008-06-26.  
  3. ^ TopoQuest topographical mapping web site, accessed July 10, 2008
  4. ^ Tour map, Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, partial ref
  5. ^ Washington State Parks Fort Worden web site
  6. ^ "Copper Canyon Press". Fort Worden State Park. http://www.centrum.org/fortworden/copper_canyon_press/index.html. Retrieved 2007-07-08.  

External links

Photographs

Websites


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message