Blue Gull Inn

History of Fort Worden

December 14th, 2019 by bluegullinn

Any time of the year is great to visit Port Townsend, WA.
Make sure to visit Fort Worden State Park.

The History of Fort Worden

Point Wilson Lighthouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1879
Point Wilson Lighthouse was built – before Fort Worden itself – and continues to aid marine traffic today. Point Wilson marks the western entrance into the Puget Sound.

Alexanders Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

1883
Episcopal rector, Reverend John B. Alexander, builds Alexander’s Castle.
1896
The Secretary of War was authorized by Congress to fortify three points – Fort Worden, Fort Casey, Fort Flagler – for the protection of Puget Sound. These forts are also known as the “Triangle of Fire”.
1902
May 3rd: Steamer, Majestic, arrived from Seattle with 87 enlisted men of the 126th Company under the command of Captain Manus McClosky of Fort Canby, Washington.
May 14th: By general orders from Fort Canby, the Army post at Fort Worden was officially established by the United States Government.

Fort Worden State Park

Fort Worden State Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1903
Summer: 23 buildings, including barracks, under construction — completed March, 1904, at a cost of $59,450.
A communications system was installed to connect forts Flagler, Casey and Worden by cable. A power house was also built to supply electricity to the fort at a cost of $60,000.
1904
September: Headquarters of the Harbor Defense of Puget Sound transferred from Fort Flagler to Fort Worden.
1907
July 17th: Electric power brought to the post.

1917
April 6th: World War I declared — Fort Worden expanded with construction of six new buildings: Two 66-Man Barracks, Mess Hall, Latrine, and Officers quarters

 

1921
A balloon hangar was built at Fort Worden, symbolizing the shift in seacoast defense strategy. The balloon company’s stay was brief as it was soon discovered that wind conditions were not conducive to balloon flight.

1953

June 30th: Fort Worden officially closed, ending a 51-year period of military activity.

Bunkers

Battery McKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1958
June 24th: Official opening and dedication program as Fort Worden Diagnostic and Treatment Center.
1959
December 3rd: Navy jurisdiction of fortified areas ends — Army retains command of these areas.
1962
October: Fort Worden selected as an emergency site in case of atomic war, for use as one of the command posts of the civil government.

Fort Worden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1965
November 5th: State Parks acquires additional Fort Worden lands (209 acres) — for future development for camping and recreation areas.

Camping Fort Worden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1973
August 10th: 50-unit campground opened with full hook-ups.
August 18th: Dedication of Fort Worden as a State Park.
Centrum founded as non-profit arts and education organization.

1976
Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum opened by the 248th Coast Artillery Association.

Fort Worden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1981
Marine Science Center opened by local interest group.

1982
Commanding Officers’ Quarters Museum opened under the direction of The Heritage Group.
2002
Fort Worden celebrates its centennial.
2012
The Port Townsend Public Development Authority amends its charter and name to focus solely on Fort Worden. The Commission adopts the updated Fort Worden Public Development Authority’s (FWPDA) Business and Management Plan in October. The Commission directs State Parks staff to negotiate a master lease for the campus portion of the Park.
2013
The Commission approves a master lease with the FWPDA for the 90-acre campus area of the Park pending the accomplishment of specific transition milestones.
2014
The FWPDA accomplishes required transition milestones and takes over day-to-day operations of the 90-acre campus on May 1.

 

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