Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY

The United States Army's Fort Hamilton is located at the east side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Brooklyn, New York. Fort Hamilton is the only active military base in metropolitan New York City.
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.


Saint Johns Episcopal Church, is located at 9818 Fort Hamilton Parkway, just outside Fort Hamilton's gates.  The church was originally established to serve the increasing Episcopalian members of the garrison at Fort Hamilton Army Base and of the surrounding community. Known as the "Church of the Generals," St. John's has been a house of worship for a large number of officers who led American forces in every conflict since the Mexican War. General Robert E. Lee, a Vestryman from 1842 to 1844 and General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson, who was baptized there in 1849, were among those who attended services here.

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!




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50 comments:

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

My husband would love to tour all of the forts around the country. I'm surprised we didn't go tour this one while we were living in New Jersey and made many trips to NY City. What a pretty little church, and that last photo of the bridge, with the sun shining through, is gorgeous! laurie

Kimberly said...

I love history.

We are Italian too..an Italian family blog.

Your photos are lovely. I will have to follow your tweets too.

Old Kitty said...

Hi

It's great how amidst the fortification and the cannons there's this sweet church! It caught my eye as it's quite stunning isn't it? Especially as it's so colourful - those red doors. And that huge bell is amazing.

Lovely.

This was another fascinating slice of history unique to New York - I do like the bridge photos - it's such a New York thing - those bridges!

Thank you. Oh Gorgeous close up pics of flowers (a bit of colour in all the snow over there and the grey wetness over here!) in Southern Daydreamer's blog!

Take care
x

Take care
x

Melanie said...

Another fab trip Pat. Thanks for sharing.

mbkatc230 said...

Thanks for sharing another slice of New York's amazing history. I'm like everyone else, I just love that church. And your bridge photos are beautiful, especially the last one with the sun coming through the arch. Looking forward to your John Paul Jones Park post! Kathy

My name is PJ. said...

You just took me someplace else I'd never been! Love the history! I'm first-hand, many times familiar with West Point, but had never been conscious of Ft Hamilton.

Thanks, Pat!!!

Allie and Pattie said...

Pat, all my life living there and you still teach me something new in all your posts. Ray and I have actually been discussing moving back to NY- there's no place like home
xoxo Pattie

Debbie said...

Awesome pics, loved the red church doors. I have a quick funny for you...last summer my hubby and boys went to NYC to celebrate their B-days..they wanted to go to Peter Lugers...well we took a cab over that bridge...I have to say I thought my life was over.....WOW those cabbies are crazy!!~ But we made it, Dinner was great, and Brooklyn was cool!

Gracie said...

This would be a must-to-see location for my husband if we could ever manage to come to visit NY!
Gracie@http://mylittleplace.blog.com

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Pat, I love history. Thanks so very much for the comprehensive tour of Ft. Hamilton. What a lovely church.
Sam

kim said...

Great pictures. I love the photo of the bridge. Very nice.

Tara said...

Hi Pat

Gosh, I love learning about brooklyn from you! My Dad was at Ft Hamilton for a short while...I did not know how much historical data there was about it. Amazing! You always have the best posts!

Through my Dad, I am related distantly to Robert E. Lee...we always forget he was here in NY for awhile after West POint!

Great post!

The Muse said...

just grand!
I adore when the past comes to life!
thank you for letting buzz around with you today!!

Claudia said...

I lived in Staten island for five years - taking the Verrazano Bridge countless times and never stopped to see the fort.My loss. The bell - how wonderful to have kept it - a reminder of what came before.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Very interesting and informative post. Enjoyed all the pictures. Sadly, I didn't see much of New York while growing up in a suburb of NYC. My parents took us to Florida, California, Canada, etc., but rarely nearby. I didn't get to the Statue of Liberty until a visit back to the area when I was 55. I was 60 when I got to the Empire State Building.

thestonerabbit said...

What a fantastic post, Pat!! You're gonna have a "best seller" on your hands when you compile your wonderful posts about the NYC area!

How cool that the entrance to the fort is beneath the bridge! It's so great that the fort still is the home to so many military activities. I didn't realize West Point was actually a fort...just thought it was an academy. duh!

This post was filled with SO much info, Pat. Thank you for taking the time to share so much with us!!! L, Dana

merrilymarylee said...

I agree--the under-the-bridge entrance is indeed cool.

Your bridge picture is BEAUTIFUL!

annie said...

Great photos of the bridge which I see from the other side when driving northward.
I love your tours!

Tracy said...

I learned so much from this post, Pat... I didn't know about Ft. Hamilton, that is was still an active base in NY! Fascinating... Wonderful photos! That little church is so pretty... I'd love walk right in and sit a while... Happy Day, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

Beverly said...

My husband would love reading this, and I will share it with him. He loves visiting historic forts.

I am just back to work this week. It had been so long since I felt like visiting, and I missed everyone.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I'm so far behind I'm chasing my tail and leaving in a few minutes AGAIN! I just wanted to drop by and say, "Hi" to you. Will spend more time with these wonderful posts when I have time to read. Miss you...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Kathleen said...

Pat, another wonderful lesson, and so clever for the letter F! I am trying to work that into my tablescape..so far I have flowers!!

As always your pictures are wonderful!
I read on Jenny's blog you were going out with your camera to find things beginning with the letter F, I wondered what you would come up with! Clever girl!

Hey, for my St Patrick's Day party could you find something to do with CONNOLLY? That is my maiden name. There must be a few Irish bars named that near you..:)

Oliag said...

More Brooklyn fun...I wish I knew of your blog before my daughter moved away from it:(

Riet said...

Thank you for sharing this with us Pat. I love reading all your posts and looking at your pictures.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I never knew this fort was here. You are a great font of information Pat.

steviewren said...

Interesting information about the Fort, Pat.

Is there still snow on the ground now? After last weekend, it's gotten cold here again.

Sara said...

Never even realized that there was a Fort there...and that little church is so pretty.

The bridge is stunning! And, I love your photos of this entire area...

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Coming from what I would call a "Brooklyn Staten Island" family, I can't tell you how many times I've driven past, over and around Fort Hamilton! :-)

I do love that pretty little church. I don't want to play favorites but I always find that I'm drawn to the architecture of Episcopal churches. They are always so quaint and old world European.

I hope you are well. I am in a bit of a work rut that I'm hoping to hoist myself out of. We just booked plane tickets to Leo's neck of the world in the hopes of spening a nice long weekend on the slopes in a couple of weeks. Of course we haven't booked a hotel room yet so I couldn't tell you what slope that would be just yet, lol!

Hope you are well! And if we get more snow here you shall hear me scream...

:-) Laura

La Petite Gallery said...

MAGNIFICENT!!
What an interesting Post. I love New York. My Family were all New Yorkers. Come On.. Robert E Lee?
That Boy was a Southerner.
I went to West Point and I was so impressed. What a gorgeous spot.
I'd like to paint that church.

Yvonne

Willow said...

My husband was separated from the US Army at Fort Hamilton. It also used to be the site for the US Army Chaplain School (now at Fort Jackson, SC where my son graduated from Chaplain Officer Basic Course). I showed these photos to my husband and he recognized the areas.

Christy said...

your blog is like a daily field trip...
...a good field trip without a stinky bus!

Jo said...

great photos with this post, how utterly enjoyable!

Steph said...

What a wonderful historical tour. I am so enjoying learning about New York.

My name is PJ. said...

Well, you already know I enjoyed this, but I'm back today with Mrs. Matlock's class. Great post for the letter F. Very original idea!!! a+

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

FABULOUS photos and post!!! Happy Alphabe-Thursday!

Viki said...

Wow, that's really neat that it is right in the city. Very interesting thing to know.

Together We Save said...

Wow - great pictures! I had no idea that was right there in the city!

Sarah said...

What a wonderful little field trip you have taken us on today. Thank you! Your photos are beautiful!
Happy Thursday!

Jenny said...

I, too, love forts. There is just so much history in the grounds and them mortar of the buildings.

I am beguiled by the sweet little church nestled in the midst of the roughness.

There is a story there.

One you have started with your wonderful photographs.

Thank you Pat!

F antastic F post.

A+

Amy said...

I learn so much when I visit your site! The photo of the church is especially lovely...

laterg8r said...

fantastic pics - tfs :D

Terri Smith said...

Thanks so much for this post Pat! My husband is retired-military and he'll enjoy the photos and all the great information as much as I did!

I especially enjoyed the church photo..and the stunning photo of the bridge! Wow! Such a wonderful city you reside in!

Enjoyed my visit so very much today! Blessings, joy and sunshine, Terri

black eyed susans kitchen said...

This is just a wonderful post! We actually went to a wedding celebration here about 25 years ago...wow... 25 years ago? How did that happen? We go over the bridge all the time and I forgot all about the fort underneath.
♥, Susan

Catherine said...

Thanks for the fabulous photos, great F post!

PEA said...

I love visiting forts and I just know I would love this one! I so enjoyed learning about Fort Hamilton and its history, very fascinating. In the last couple of summers I've visited the forts located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, as well as in Niagara Falls, NY and it was very easy to immerse myself in their history. Beautiful pictures, dear Pat. xoxo

Lorrie said...

This is a great historical tour Pat. We go to visit Fort Macon in NC when we go out to the NC coast and I learn something new each time I go. Your photo of the bridge is just spectacular. Thanks for all the research you do preparing these posts for us Pat!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I just got my history fix for the day. I love history and I really enjoy visiting places that I never visited before. This is one of them. Your photography and your attention to detail makes your posts so interesting. Thank you!

GardenofDaisies said...

My son would love this place. He is a history buff! I thought it was interesting that you mentioned the stesp that were taken to protect New YOrk during World War 2... you know I have never even thought about the east coast/Atlantic side needing protection during the war... I only think of the west coast/ pacific.

mub said...

This is such an interesting post! I've never been to New York before and I think that is certainly a "must see" when I do make it there!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I came back to read this post, and enjoyed it! I gave Mr. Magpie a book about Alexander Hamilton which we both read and about which we both cried. What a tragic ending he had for someone of such promise!

As I recall, he wrote a lot of Washington's correspondence. He was so brilliant. I love seeing the places of historic importance in NYC, and this is certainly one of them. You happened to hit on two of my favorite Confederate generals Lee and Jackson, both of whom I have read much material regarding their lives. Fascinating characters just as Hamilton was.

XO,

Sheila :-)