Sunday, August 5, 2012
Fort Stevens on the Mouth of the Columbia River
Fort Stevens is located at the mouth of the Columbia River ans was charged with its defense for some 90 years until closed in 1947. Today, the Fort is a 4,200 acre State Park that allows folks the chance to see a class harbor fortification.
A very interesting distinction for the Fort is that it is the only place in the continental USA that was directly shelled by the Japanese during WWII.
Fort Stevens was constructed in the Civil War era in 1863, becoming active in 1865. Remaining in active duty, it was dramatically expanded in 1897 in order to protect the important Columbia River port area. The gun in the photo above is a classic Civil war cannon.
Compare that weapon with this disapearing cannon from the late 1800's. This reproduction is mounted in an actual revetment that was used for the real emplacement. This gun could shot a 600+ pound shell some 9 miles, but during the Japanese attack, the range to the attacking submarine was to great and the fort never returned fire.
The various batteries all had gun emplacements complete with powder and shell storage, crew protection and the like. These were all constructed of concrete with very thick walls.