The fort is named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury. It, and West Point located in upstate New York, are the oldest continuously garrisoned forts in the United States. Fort Hamilton's cornerstone was laid on June 11, 1825, and construction completed on July 10, 1831. Since 1776 this portion of New York harbor has been a strategic base for coastal defense. Fort Lewis, once located on this site, held the British fleet at bay during the War of 1812. During the Civil War, Fort Hamilton's garrison expanded. A ship barrier across the Narrows assisted Fort Hamilton and its sister forts on Staten Island in protecting the harbor against Confederate raiders. The forts also provided troops to help put down the New York City draft riots of 1863. In the two World Wars, Fort Hamilton served as a major embarkation and separation center. Most recently, in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, National Guard troops stationed at Fort Hamilton provided critical operational support.
The entrance to Fort Hamilton is located under the parkway ramps to the Verrazano - Narrows Bridge, as seen in the photos above and below.
The Harbor Defense Museum is located within Fort Hamilton. Inside are the collection of military themed art and historical items from Fort Hamilton, including weapons, uniforms, small arms, cannons and accoutrement's from 18th century to present. They currently have two special exhibits: "The Battle of Brooklyn, Firepower" and "Infantry Weapons of World War II, In Defense of New York."
A view of the Fort Hamilton Community Club which provides a quality dining and social atmosphere for the Military and Federal Employees of the New York Area Command.
If you look closely at the photo above you can see how cannons were once positioned on this ridge to help protect the harbor. Some are still on display. However, while Fort Hamilton is an active Army base, the defense of New York City is now the responsibility of the Navy and the Air Force.
Part of the Installation Management Commands Northeast Region, Fort Hamilton supports a several important tenant organizations: the U.S. Army New York City Recruiting Battalion, the Military Entrance Processing Station, the headquarters of the North Atlantic Division, Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Army Reserve Center. The New York National Guard units based at Fort Hamilton provide civil support and security for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other military and civilian agencies.
A view of the Verrazano -Narrows Bridge connecting Brooklyn with Staten Island and at the entrance to New York Harbor.
A number of historically important individuals have made Fort Hamilton their home. Between 1841 and 1846 Captain Robert E. Lee resided at Fort Hamilton and served as engineer in charge of all the fortifications defending New York's harbor. Brevet Major Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson served at Fort Hamilton as an artillery officer from 1848 to 1849. And Captain Abner Doubleday, who is closely associated with the development of baseball, served as post commander in 1861.
Click on any photo to enlarge to see more detail
Established in 1834, the present church structure dates to 1890. This bell, from the original church building, was preserved and is on display on the front lawn.
Next to Fort Hamilton is John Paul Jones Park, named after “the Father of the Navy.” I'll show that interesting park in my next blog post.
Linking to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer blog's "Outdoor Wednesday" event. Please visit Susan's blog today to see her post and links to other blogs participating in Outdoor Wednesday.
I am also linking to Jenny at Jenny Matlock - Off On My Tangent blog's "Alphabe Thursday" blog event. The letter this week is "F."
Thanks Susan and Jenny! It is always a pleasure to join in on your blog events!