July 27 2016 – Fort Stevens State Park and the Clatsop Spit, Oregon

Fort Stevens was once the primary military defense installation in the three-fort, Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River (along with Forts Canby and Columbia in Washington).  The fort saw service for 84 years, from the Civil War to World War II.  Fort Stevens was decommissioned in 1947.  All the armaments were removed and buildings were auctioned.

Today, Fort Stevens has grown into a 4,300 acre state park offering exploration of history, nature, and many recreational opportunities.

What remains of the military installation are a variety of foundations,

Barracks Remainsgun battery fortifications,

Gun Batteriesmines,

Size 48 Mine FSand replicas of some of the guns and cannons used at the fort in the past.

5'' Naval  Gun5” Naval Gun

10'' ROdman Smooth Bore Cannon10” Rodman Smooth Bore Cannon

10'' rifled cannon with disappearing carraiges10” Rifled Cannon with a Disappearing Carriage

155 mm GPF GUn140 mm GPU Gun

Today, a beautiful Memorial rose garden with a seemingly endless number of varieties of roses graces the old fort.

Brass Band Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Chicago Peace Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Double Delight Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Evening Star Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Honor Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Jocelyn Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Peace Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Queen Elizabeth Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Tropicana Rose - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Tropicana Rose (b) - Fort Stevens, Hammon, OR - 2016-07-27

Within the state park can be found the decaying wreck of the Peter Iredale.

Peter Iredale Remains (a), Pacific Beach, Fort Stevens State Park, OR - 2016-07-27

Peter Iredale Remains (b), Pacific Beach, Fort Stevens State Park, OR - 2016-07-27

Peter Iredale Remains (c), Pacific Beach, Fort Stevens State Park, OR - 2016-07-27

Peter Iredale Remains (e), Pacific Beach, Fort Stevens State Park, OR - 2016-07-27

Peter Iredale Remains (f), Pacific Beach, Fort Stevens State Park, OR - 2016-07-27

On the night of June 21-22 1942 the Japanese submarine I-25 surfaced off Fort Stevens and fired 17 144-mm shells from her deck gun, making Fort Stevens the only military installation in the continental United States to come under enemy fire in World War II; although as Ellwood Oil Field near Santa Barbara, California, shelled earlier by a Japanese submarine, was not a military post.  The Japanese attack caused no damage to the fort itself.

Most rounds struck a nearby baseball field, damaging the backstop, and a swamp, though one landed near Battery Russell and another next to a concrete pillbox.  Another round severed several large telephone cables, the most significant damage the Japanese caused.   The site of where one of the shells landed is marked by a monument.

Site of Japanese Shelling Memorial (a), Warrenton, OR - 2016-07-27

The South Jetty

View South from South Jetty Observation Park, Fort Stevens State Park, Hamond, OR - 2016-07-27

South Jetty at the Mouth of the Columbia River (b), Fort Stevens State Park, Hammond, OR - 2016-07-27

at the mouth of the Columbia River took 27 years to build, beginning in 1886. The 6½ -mile jetty helps to contain and trap the shifting sand deposits at the mouth of the river and thus ensure a relatively stable shipping channel. It has been instrumental in the formation of Clatsop Spit, which was a partially submerged shoal before the construction of the jetty.

The jetty stretches across Jetty Lagoon, also called Trestle Bay,

Columbia river side of the Mouth of the Columbia River, Fort Stevens State Park, Hammond, OR - 2016-07-27

Rail Line Running to South Jetty Observation Park (d), Fort Stevens State Park, Hamond, OR - 2016-07-27

from Point Adams out towards the Columbia Bar, and for part of the way is accompanied by the ruins of a 1½ mile wooden trestle, which carried the trains used in the jetty’s construction.

Rail Line Running to South Jetty Observation Park (a), Fort Stevens State Park, Hamond, OR - 2016-07-27

Rail Line Running to South Jetty Observation Park (c), Fort Stevens State Park, Hamond, OR - 2016-07-27 (2)

Rail Line Running to South Jetty Observation Park (d), Fort Stevens State Park, Hamond, OR - 2016-07-27 (2)

Overhead, we watched a number of gulls,

Gull over the Mouth of the Columbia RIver, OR - 2016-07-27

Gull over South Jetty Observation Park, Fort Stevens State Park, Hamond, OR - 2016-07-27Sparrows

Swallow over South Jetty Observation Park, Fort Stevens State Park, Hamond, OR - 2016-07-27and a jetliner

Jetliner over South Jetty Observation Park, Fort Stevens State Park, Hamond, OR - 2016-07-27

Back at our motorhome, I was able to sneak in 9-holes of golf with some borrowed Clubs.

Dick Playing Golf (b)

Meanwhile, Debbie was able to take long-distance picture of the Astoria Column which we’d visited.

Astoria Column from Campground

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