Monday, July 31, 2006

A Day At Fort Point

"What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past"

-Victor Hugo

Last May, I took a weekend tour of historic Fort Point, in San Francisco. It was my first time viewing the inside of the fort, but as you know from my photos, I come to the outside of the fort often, to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge, or just enjoy some quiet time. It is a peaceful place, and extremely photogenic. I have taken some of my personal favorite photos there, including the one with the seagull who wanted my spaghetti lunch! LOL. When you see Fort Point from this perspective, you would never guess how big it is on the inside.

"The fort was completed just after the beginning of the Civil War. It was first garrisoned in February of 1861 by Company I, 3rd U.S. Artillery Regiment." While the fort was manned throughout the Civil War, it would soon after become obsolete. The troops stationed at the fort were removed in 1886, and the last cannon was removed in 1900. After that, the fort was mainly used as a storage depot and for military training exercises.

During the early to late 1930's, the fort was the main base of operations for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, but during WWII, the fort was again used as a lookout for possible enemy submarines which may have tried to enter the Golden Gate. The fort was made an official National Historic site on October 16th, 1970. Today it is closed for tours, except on the weekends. It has a rich history, and many fascinating displays of what military was like throughout the years. One area I found particularly interesting, was the view of the officers living quarters.

Here are a few of the sights that caught my interest...

Vintage cannon, on display in the main courtyard of the fort.

Steep cement spiral staircase downward from the third floor.

The hallways of the inside corridors. Sometimes so dark, you couldn't see your hand right in front of your face. Kinda spooky!

One of the many windows that were once armed with cannons, at the back of the fort, that faced the Pacific ocean and the entrance to the Golden Gate. They have been closed off with sheets of plastic and heavy paper, but there have been little holes made over the years for visitors to be able to see out.

It is an eerie sight to behold. The land that you see from the window, is actually the Marin County coastline.

A peek inside the kitchen of the Officer's quarters. During the Civil War, there was a ration system in place. The ration order read as follows...

"General Orders" No. 226 War Department, July 8th, 1864

Section 2nd of the ACT approved June 20, 1864, published in General Orders No. 216, current series, having modified the Army ration, the following regulations on that subject will be observed:

1. The ration is:-
12 ozs. of pork or bacon, or 1 lb. 4 ozs. of salt or fresh beef
18 ozs. of soft bread or flour, or 12 ozs. of hard breads, or 1 lb 4 ozs. of corn meal
and to every 100 rations...
15 lbs. of beans or peas, or 10 lbs. of rice or hominy
10 lbs. of green coffee, or 8 lbs. of roasted (or roasted and ground) coffee, or 1 lb 8 ozs. of tea
15 lbs. of sugar
4 qts. vinegar
1 lb 4 ozs. of adamantine or star candles
4 lbs. of soap
3 lbs. 12 ozs. of salt
4 ozs. of pepper

Major Pauline Cushmon Fryer

"The first U.S. woman to be commissioned, served as a spy for the Union Army. She was captured and nearly executed by the Confederate Army. She is buried in the Presidio Cemetery."

A close-up view of one of my favorite lighthouses to photograph. This is the view from the top (3rd floor) of the fort. As you can see, it sits directly beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

It's an amazing and interesting place to visit and photograph. I enjoyed the day very much. I would like to go back sometime soon, and do a few more photos of the lighthouse and the views of Marin County and San Francisco from the top floor of the fort.

Fort Point
San Francisco, California
May 13th, 2006


Becky said...

Very cool!

Suzanne R said...

A very interesting place. Thank you for sharing your time there with us!

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Gee, I love your local history entries. I was going to say that the first three photos here are my favorites, but then there's also this one...and this one...!