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The land south of the mouth of the Columbia River in what is now the state of Oregon was originally inhabited by the Clatsop Indians. After signing a treaty with the United States in 1851 in which they ceded much of their land to the U.S., a Presidential executive order reserved the area presently known as Fort Stevens for military purposes.

The fort, which was constructed in 1863-1864, was named Fort Stevens in honor of Isaac Stevens, the first territorial governor of Washington. During his reign, Stevens arrogantly imposed a series of treaties on the Indian nations of the territory which led to a series of Indian wars. From an Indian viewpoint, Stevens was known for his bigotry, racism, and inability to understand any culture other than his own.

The United States, concerned about protecting the mouth of the Columbia River from foreign enemies, completed construction of Battery Russell in 1904. Named for Bvt. Major Gen. David A. Russell, the battery was armed with 10-inch disappearing rifles. These rifles had 35-foot barrels. During World War II, Battery Russell came under fire from a Japanese submarine, but could not return fire because the submarine was out of the range of its obsolete guns. It was deactivated in 1944.

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Today, Battery Russell is a part of Fort Stevens State Park and tourists can be found wandering through the cement ruins reminiscent of European castles and ancient Roman edifices. Like the ancient Roman ruins, it will stand in 2,000 years as a monument to American civilization and its achievements. It is also listed a site of exceptional paranormal activity. Shown below are some photographs of the ruins.

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Originally posted to History for Kossacks on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 09:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse and National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ok, that was humorous.. (12+ / 0-)

    Just as I was opening this diary, my daughter said "Mommy, I'm going to build a fort!" I said "But there's a fort right here!" and she sat down to look at the pictures. Somehow I don't think her sheet and blanket fort will turn out anything like this one though!

    Thanks again for the diary Ojibwa, and the opportunity for myself and my children to learn about this part of our country that we're likely to never see in person (since it's on the opposite corner from us).

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 10:05:00 AM PDT

  •  Fascinating fort ruins around most seaboard cities (13+ / 0-)

    With the memories of both the war of 1812 (and the British burning the White House) and the Civil War firmly in mind, the U.S. built a very extensive network of forts to guard most all the major seaports on both coasts.

    The biggest wave of construction was at the turn of the century (19th/20th) when most forts were rebuilt to mount the 10-12 inch 'disappearing carriage' guns. These large guns were mounted on counterweighted carriages and would rise to fire over the concrete parapet/glacis, and recoil would push them back down for reloading. This actually made sense in 1900 when 2,000 yards was 'long range', and the flat trajectory of such short distance fire meant the guns were hard to hit.

    Unfortunately, after spending the equivalent of hundreds of millions on this network of forts, by 1918 it was abundantly clear that warships were now firing from much longer ranges, such that plunging shellfire would come over the parapet and destroy the guns.

    Through the 1920s right up to WWII, the U.S. built upgraded emplacements with giant 16" guns and overhead concrete protection, generally sited in pairs guarding major ports/harbors. Here's one in New Jersey.

    They would have been lethal to warships to 20 miles offshore, yet they were basically irrelevant in the age of combat aircraft. Pearl Harbor's extensive naval gun defenses did nothing to stop the sinking of much of the U.S. battleship fleet on December 7th 1941.

  •  Not unlike the Admiralty Inlet forts. (8+ / 0-)

    At the northern end of Admiralty Inlet, the gateway to Puget Sound and Seattle, lie the well-preserved remnants of Forts Flagler, Worden, and Casey.

    Fort Casey has two 10 inch guns, one down and one up, and two 3 inch guns as well, all of which were retrieved from the Philippines in the 1970's.

    I spent many an hour as a kid, waiting for the Keystone ferry just below Fort Casey, exploring the batteries and imagining Japanese fleets coming in under fire. My imagination could run away with things...and it still tries to!

    Thanks Ojibwa!

    And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

    by itzadryheat on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 11:04:02 AM PDT

  •  my anti virus software must be pretty advanced (6+ / 0-)

    it said it had repelled several 'unknown entity' attacks while I was looking at those pictures..man, that is a scary place.

    Can't wait to visit, thanks Ojibwa!

    now I am trying to remember the diary about that submarine attack that we had here previously....and there was another shelling onshore down here in Santa Barbara county...it shot at an oil installation and there was snippy explanations that the captain had some resentments towards someone here since he had visited or lived and worked here before the war.
       There is a small musuem that has a door and some shot up planks from that attack which was way up the coast in farm/cattle ranch area away from the Santa Barbara itself.

    (haha, now I really did just get a antivirus pop up message to renew my subscription..interesting as I use the free AVG version. :> ooooooeeee!)(and of all the internet screwball behavior how come we haven't heard of ghostly internet happenings? geez, disappointed I am. certainly some people would pay for extra protection from that? Benghazi!)

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 12:29:38 PM PDT

  •  The emplacements here (3+ / 0-)

    in San Diego were mostly on Point Loma, or on Coronado at North Island.

    North Island is a fairly major air base, and all of the really old stuff has been cleared away to make room for new stuff, but the big concrete revetments on Point Loma are still there, and some of them still see some use for other purposes.  Some are now used for antenna arrays or for meteorological stations, while others are nice places to set up a table and chairs for picnics.  the views are spectacular.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 04:39:42 PM PDT

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