Fort Wadsworth – A Walk through American History on Staten Island’s North Shore
Fort Wadsworth located at the Eastern shore of Staten Island occupying 226 acres is one of the oldest military installations in the United States. Its true beauty preserves the rich history of our country with magnificent views of New York Harbor to the west, the natural beauty of the Staten Island coastline to its east and the Brooklyn shoreline to the north.
The park is open to visitors from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from April 1 to Oct. 31 and open from 5 a.m. to 8pm. from Nov. 1 to March 31. It is accessible by public transportation, take the S51 Bus from The St. George Ferry to the park entrance on Bay Street. Guided tours and events of the fort itself are conducted by park rangers, contact them at 718-354-4500. The mighty Verrazano Bridge towers over this and is a spectacular sight to behold during the daylight and its gleaming lights that shine throughout the night. The fort is still in use by both the National Park Service and the United States Coast Guard, a true testament of our countries perseverance and endurance through the Revolutionary War where actual battles were fought with the English and our American patriots here on Staten Island.
Originally constructed by the Dutch in the early 1700s it was fortified by the English during the Revolutionary war as a defensive location. Initial construction was begun in 1807 to guard the narrows during the war of 1812. The present fortification known as Ft. Tompkins was constructed between 1859 and 1876 replacing the wooden fort with brick and masonry. As you walk through the fort and surrounding buildings you can feel the past. Highlights of Fort Wadsworth include Battery Weed and Fort Tompkins Quadrangle and buildings that held the torpedoes that where using by the big guns in the fort. Through the years It has housed artillery soldiers and the 52nd AA brigade who over saw the Nike Missile Battery, in 1954 it was turned over to the National Park Service.
Camping and fishing and athletic fields are part of the historic National treasure and admission is free with plenty of free parking available. There is plenty of nature to see including goats which have been a fixture in the park for over twenty years. Public accommodations are available. Bring your breakfast or lunch or walk a few blocks experience some of Staten Island fine eating establishments, don’t forget to pack your camera. Plan on spending your day exploring every nook and cranny of American and Staten Island history and have fun.
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