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,
Today, a beautiful Memorial rose garden with a seemingly endless number of varieties of roses graces the old fort.
Within the state park can be found the decaying wreck of the Peter Iredale.
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.
The South Jetty
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,
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.
Overhead, we watched a number of gulls,
Back at our motorhome, I was able to sneak in 9-holes of golf with some borrowed Clubs.
Meanwhile, Debbie was able to take long-distance picture of the Astoria Column which we’d visited.