Self Guided Tour, Fort Warren, George's Island

A basic self guided walking tour for Fort Warren on George's Island in the Boston Harbor Islands

Self Guided Tour, Fort Warren, George's Island

Hull, Massachusetts 02045, United States

Created By: DCR Massachusettes

Tour Information

100 Years. 3 Wars. 1 Fort.

Enjoy this self-guided walking tour of Fort Warren, and explore the past through photographs and facts at each stop. Many of the photos have never been shared with the public before now. Learn how Boston's Harbor was protected from attack throughout three major wars.


Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

1
Wharf Area

Construction of Fort Warren began in 1833.  Among the first structures that would need to be built was the wharf area.  This wharf would serve to receive the massive pieces of granite that would be used to construct the fort as well as th... Read more
2
Guard House

This granite building is the original guard house for Fort Warren.  It is set in to the earthen coverface on the exterior of the fort.  A coverface is a high and long earthen mound whose steep angle would help to deflect and ricochet any ... Read more
3
Outer Defenses

The coverface, a long and high earthen mound, served to shield the granite walls of Fronts II (2) and III (3) from direct fire from the Narrows Channel between George’s Island and Lovell’s and Gallop’s Island.  This channel was the o... Read more
4
Sallyport

This was the primary entrance to the interior of the fort.  The sallyport is double gated, which means there is a gate or door on both sides of the tunnel.  These doors are covered in iron studs.  A common misconception is that these stu... Read more
5
Front 3

The long walls of the fort are called “fronts” and the arrowhead like projections at the corners are called “bastions”.  The rooms inside of the walls are called casemates.  These casemate rooms were protected by vaulted and multi... Read more
6
Lower Level - Bastion C

On the far left of Bastion C you will find the original ovens for Fort Warren.  These would use coal to cook food for the soldiers and prisoners at Fort Warren.  Mostly it would be used to make fresh loaves of bread and occasionally pastr... Read more
7
Upper Level - Observation Tower

This tower was built around 1900 as a fire control tower dedicated to Battery Jack Adams and later to Battery Stevenson on Front I.  This meant that it tracked incoming targets helped relay elevation and bearing information to those guns t... Read more
8
Upper Level - Front 2 Terreplein

The terreplein is the main, cannon bearing level of a fortification or defensive work.  The terreplein of Fort Warren supported 10-inch smoothbore Rodman Cannon along the fronts with 15-inch smoothbore Rodman Cannon at each bastion corner.... Read more
9
Battery Plunkett

Battery Plunkett is named after Sergeant Thomas Plunkett of the 21st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, who lost both arms advancing the Regimental Colors at Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 13, 1862.  The battery mounted two 4-inch rap... Read more
10
Upper Level - Battery Stephenson

Battery Stevenson is named after Brigadier General Thomas G. Stevenson, the first Colonel of the 24th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry who was killed in action at Spotsylvania Courthouse in Virginia.  This battery was completed and the can... Read more
11
Lower Level - Bastion A / "Dark Arch"

The original layout of Bastion a was an open courtyard with casemate walls similar in design and construction to Bastion C.  It was arched over in the 1870’s to provide for new gun emplacements on the terreplein.  The resulting space be... Read more
12
Front 1 Casemates

The casemates along Front 1 and Front 2 were initially designed to be the quarters for the enlisted soldiers and personnel at the fort.  These rooms were not as nicely furnished as the officers’ quarters on Front 3.  Each room had a fir... Read more
13
Powder Magazine

This powder magazine was constructed in 1863.  This was meant for limited access storage of large quantities of gunpowder in 100lb kegs.  This would not have stored weapon specific cartridges.  Those would have been stored in smaller mag... Read more
14
Parade Ground

The parade ground is the heart of Fort Warren.  Day to day life revolved around here.  During the Civil War, units came to Fort Warren for training in advance of being sent south to fight.  These units would spend upwards of 8 hours a da... Read more
15
Old Hospital / Bastion D

Bastion D housed the forts hospital from the Civil War all the way until 1906.  No records exist detailing how the hospital was laid out during the civil war, but as of 1870 it had two ward rooms each with 15 beds.  Examinations and opera... Read more

 

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