Fort Worden Historic District Tour - Port Townsend, Washington
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Hikenutty
N 48° 08.048 W 122° 45.904
10U E 517479 N 5331235
Quick Description: Fort Worden, built in 1898, is listed as a National Historic Landmark. The Fort has over 60 historic structures on its property. This tour explores the highlights.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 12:35:33 PM
Waymark Code: WM268H
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 226

Long Description:
Fort Worden, built in 1898, is located on Admiralty Inlet at the location where the Puget Sound opens onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Along with Fort Casey and Fort Flagler it made up the "triangle of fire" used to protect the entrance to the Puget Sound. In WWII these forts had an important role in protecting the Bremerton Naval Yard and Boeing's B-52 Bomber manufacturing plant, both on the Sound, from Japanese subs.

In 1957 Fort Worden was deactivated. It is now a beautiful State Park and the historic buildings are used for vacation rentals, a youth hostel, and residential dormitories for camps. On site is a campground, historic theater, three history museums, a Marine Science Center Exhibit Aquarium, and miles of trails and beachfront for recreation.

This tour will explore some of the highlights of the fort's architecture. Some spots like the theater, balloon hanger, and military cemetery aren't included, but are easy to find using the entrance sign's directions.

Enlisted Men's Barracks - N 48° 08.048 W 122° 45.904
We'll start the tour near the park headquarters and museum parking. You are standing in front of the enlisted men's barracks, most of which were built in 1908. Currently they are used as residential dormitories and a youth hostel, but originally they housed the enlisted soldiers of Fort Worden. The buildings feature 2 story verandas and a central palladian window, a feature seen throughout most of the fort's early buildings.

The fort's museum is located in one of these structures and the park's administration building is located in the original fort administration building, adjacent to the barracks.

Alexander's Castle - N 48° 08.103 W 122° 45.888
The next stop can be found east of the barracks. Alexander's Castle predates the fort and was built by a Scottish Reverend for his prospective bride in 1883. When he went to Scotland to marry her he found she had married another and he returned to the United States and soon after sold the land. He had chosen it because it reminded him of his homeland.

In 2005 the tiny castle was restored and is now available as a vacation rental. The views from its location perched high atop the bluffs are exquisite.

Commanding Officer's Quarters and Officer's Duplexes - N 48° 07.954 W 122° 45.858
Across the field from the barracks you'll find the beautiful homes of Officers' Row. The commanding officer's house is a beautiful Victorian structure located nearest to the water. It now houses a museum about the officer's lives at Fort Worden. The other officers stayed with their families in the duplexes adjacent to the commanding officer's quarters. These duplexes have been renovated and are now available as vacation rentals. The film "An Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed here and made use of the officer housing during filming.
Point Wilson Lighthouse - N 48° 08.666 W 122° 45.233
This quaint little lighthouse, keeper's cottage, and oil house sit at the tip of Point Wilson. The current structure was built in 1914 and is now automated and maintained by the Coast Guard. The lighthouse is open for tours May through September on Saturdays from 1-4pm.
Battery Kinzie - N 48° 08.561 W 122° 45.676
There are 15 separate batteries located on the Fort Worden property. Most require a hike to reach them, but Battery Kinzie, by far the grandest of all of them, is accessible by a short trail from the parking area near the Point Wilson Lighthouse.

Built 350 feet long and 25 feet high in 1908, Battery Kinzie is the largest of any batteries constructed along the Puget Sound shoreline. It is a superb example of the full evolution of coastal defense structures – well lit, spacious, and employing disappearing 12" guns. Our favorite part of the day was spent climbing on and exploring this battery. The view from the top of the battery is extraordinary. You can see as far as Vancouver Island to the northwest on a clear day and to the east is a nice view of Mt. Baker.

You've finished the tour but have actually only explored a portion of what this fort has to offer. Other spots you might want to visit are the beach of Point Wilson, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (south of the lighthouse), the 3 military history museums on the site, the historic balloon hanger, the military theater building, Fort Worden Chapel, Fort Worden cemetery… So much to do that you might need to rent one of those officer duplexes and stay the night, or pitch a tent in the campground. One thing I highly recommend taking time to do is hiking up battery hill to see the other 14 batteries built between 1898 and 1910. When you're finished stop by Port Townsend's "Elevated Ice Cream Company", voted one of the nations top 10 ice cream parlors by the Food Network television station.

Recommended Time for this WayTour: From: 8:00 AM To: 7:00 PM

Stop Coordinates:
See description

Starting Address for this WayTour:
Fort Worden State Park
Port Townsend, WA USA

Number of Stops: 5

Website of stops: [Web Link]

Stop Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
You must include an original photo showing one of the stops along the tour route.
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