Historic Photographs of Madison Barracks

Established 1816, Closed 1947

Madison Barracks informational website

Madison Barracks was built following the conclusion of the War of 1812. Incorporating the site of Fort Pike on Black River Bay, the eastern anchor of the Sackets Harbor defensive line, barracks and officers' quarters were built around a square parade ground beginning in 1816. Additional buildings were built in the late 1830's in response to the Patriot's Rebellion in Canada. Abandoned from 1852 - 1861, then used as a training post for recruits. A devastating fire in 1879 destroyed a portion of the Stone Row, the original officers' quarters, and other buildings. Under President Grant, who was once stationed here, a massive rebuilding effort was undertaken. The post was enlarged in 1892 with the addition of the Polo Ground, and several more buildings were constructed along its perimeter. The post became a major Field Artillery garrison post, with training facilities and firing ranges at Stony Point and Pine Camp (Camp Drum). This was once considered one of the most scenic military posts in the entire country.

Madison Barracks was finally closed in 1947, moving to Camp Drum, which then later became Fort Drum. The community of Sackets Harbor took over ownership of the post, and it is slowly being restored and transformed into a lake-side resort community.

Present Day Photographs of Madison Barracks

The following historical photographs of Madison Barracks are taken from "Images of America: Sackets Harbor", by Robert E. and Jeannie I. Brennan, 2000, Arcadia Publishing. They are generally in the public domain.

Map of Madison Barracks

courtesy of Sackets Harbor Historical Society
Map of Madison Barracks.
NCO - Non Commissioned Officers' Quarters; CO - Commanding Officers' Quarters;
T.C. - Modern Tennis Courts; PX - Post Exchange and Gymnasium

View of Black River Bay, with Madison Barracks in background, circa 1900.

The "new" Enlisted Barracks, built in 1905, near the Mess Hall.

A 1941 aerial view of Madison Barracks.

Temporary wooden shacks built in 1917 to house WWI troops.

A 1917 aerial view of the Polo Ground.
Stone Water Tower in left foreground, Mess Hall and Enlisted Barracks on farside.
Temporary WWI Barracks at upper far right of the Polo Ground.

The Commanding Officer's Quarters, built 1906, located on Officers' Row.

A 1917 training excercise for the Second Field Artillery, NY National Guard.

The "old" Hospital, built 1838 (left rear), Bakery, built 1813 (left center), and Commissary, built 1840 (right).
The Bakery and Commissary no longer exist.

The Post Headquarters, built 1905.
A stage and ballroom were on the second floor.

The Enlisted Men's Mess Hall, built 1892, seating capacity 400.
As noted in the photograph, this was formerly the Administration Building, until 1905.

One of five brick duplexes built for Non-Commissioned Officers and their families.

The "new" Guardhouse, built 1897, at the main gate, opposite the site of the old guardhouse.

The "new" Hospital, built 1898, opposite the site of Fort Pike.
No longer exists.

Officers' Row, viewed from the Stone Water Tower.
The Commandant's House is at the far end on the left.

The original Enlisted Barracks, built 1816, extended in two rows from the Stone Row (on left) towards the lake.
Photo taken 1895.

The original Guardhouse located at the main gate. Photo taken 1867.

The Post Exchange, built in 1905, also contained a gymnasium, library, bowling alley,
restaurant, barbershop, taproom, and Red Cross office.

The stables for Madison Barracks, accommodating 150 horses for the Seventh Field Artillery,
stationed here from 1922 to 1934.

The limestone buildings referred to as the Stone Row, built 1816 to 1819.
These were the original Officers' Quarters.

The Post Theater (foreground), built in 1932, capacity of 398.
Inside the entrance was a chaplain's office and post exchange annex.