Fort Columbia- An Endicott Period Fort

You may have heard me mention Fort Casey on Whidbey Island. Fort Casey was one of many seacoast artillery installations built during the “Endicott period” around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

The series of forts erected varied in numbers and types of batteries installed, and in number and size of guns, as well. But they were also all built to virtually identical layouts, at least as far as individual gun emplacements. Further, the rest of each fort featured virtually identical officers quarters, barracks, messing facilities and other support structures.  Working from common components, if you will, helped speed up construction.

There are on the West Coast really only five major port areas that call for significant defenses: San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Columbia River, and Puget Sound. Each of these areas became home to several Endicott period fortifications. Ft. Casey was one of a trio of major seacoast artillery forts guarding Puget Sound, with other smaller batteries in support throughout the Sound.

Similarly, at the mouth of the Columbia River, three major seacoast forts stood guard. Ft. Stevens, Ft. Canby, and Ft. Columbia.  Stevens and Canby were rebuilt as Endicott forts upon older obsolete works. Ft. Columbia was new construction. All three forts are now part of the state and national parks systems in Oregon and Washington.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjDT70Vhvo8]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYKP83AtRjo]