Narragansett Bay II

Fort Adams | Camp Bailey | Block Island Res. | Brenton Point Res. | Fort Burnside
Fort Church | Battery at Dutch Island | Post at Dutch Island | Fort Getty | Fort Greble
Fort Greene (1) | Fort Nathanael Greene (2) | Fort Hamilton | Howland's Ferry Battery (2)
Fort Kearny | Newport Gun House | Camp Palmer | Point Judith Res. | Price's Neck Range
Sachuest Point Battery | Sakonnet Point Res. | Fort Varnum | Fort Wetherill | Fort Wolcott

Rhode Island Mainland - page 1 | Narragansett Bay I - page 2

Last Update: 02/JANUARY/2012
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2012 American Forts Network

Howland's Ferry Battery (2)
(1794), Portsmouth
A Federal work covering Howland's Ferry to Tiverton and the ship passage through to Mount Hope Bay.

Fort Hamilton
Rose Island Lighthouse
(1798 - 1811 ?), Rose Island FORT WIKI
Built on the site of Rose Island Fort (see page 2). Construction of the new American four-bastioned 60-gun fort was never completed by the time of the War of 1812. The present lighthouse was built in 1869 on the fort's southwest bastion. Beginning in 1883, the old fort was used as a storage area for explosives and torpedoes for the U.S. Navy. A few old naval ammo bunkers still remain. Additional magazines and barracks were built after World War I. Anti-aircraft defenses (four 5-inch naval AA guns in 1942, replaced by four 90mm AA guns in 1943) were emplaced by the Navy and Army in WWII (1942 - 1944). The Navy left the island in the 1950's. The University of Rhode Island took over the island in 1976 for maritime research, but could not maintain the property. The island became a city park in 1984. Most of the island is off-limits to the public, however the lighthouse is open for tours. Restoration efforts have been proposed for the remaining northwest bastion and the brick barracks. See also Rose Island Lighthouse from Lighthouse

Fort Wolcott
(1794, 1798 - 1836), Goat Island FORT WIKI
Previously known as Fort George / Liberty / Washington (see page 2). Rebuilt in 1794 and 1798 with 38 guns (28 guns in 1818) and repaired in 1808. The fort was last renamed in 1798 and was used until 1836. This was the primary Federal defense of the city until Fort Adams was built. Located about midway on the western shore of the island. Transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1869 to become a naval torpedo station, until 1951. The old fort probably survived until the WWI years. Anti-aircraft defenses (12 20mm AA guns) were emplaced here by the Army in WWII (1942 - 1944). Most of the Navy buildings were demolished in the 1960's. Now a developed area. The present Goat Island Lighthouse at the north tip of the island was built in 1842, replacing an earlier 1823 tower.

Fort Greene (1)
(1798 - 1810 ?), Newport
Previously the site of the North Battery (see page 2). It was rebuilt as an elliptical stone 12-gun battery in 1798, reported in ruins by 1811. Located on Eaton's (or Dyer) Point at Battery Park, across from Goat Island, at Washington and Battery Streets. A city park since 1891. The stone seawall still remains.
(Not to be confused with Fort Nathanael Greene (2) in Point Judith)

A Gun House (1808) may have been built somewhere in the city to store several cannon on traveling carriages, for use by the militia here or at Fort Adams.

Harbor Defense of Narragansett Bay - FORT WIKI

Fort Church
(1940 - 1948), Sakonnet
Originally known as Sakonnet Point Military Reservation. This post is in three separate sections. The West Reservation (present-day Sakonnet Golf Club) had Battery Gray / 107 (1942 - 1948), now partially covered. Private property. The East Reservation had Battery Reilly (1942 - 1947), which is buried on private property (off of Warren Point Road adjacent to Briggs Marsh). The South Reservation has Battery 212 (1943 - 1948), built on and partially destroyed (converted to private residence), and two Panama mounts for 155mm guns (1942 - 1943), which may still remain buried. Private property at the end of Washington Road.

A fire-control station is located on Warren Point, east of the Warren Point Beach Club, now a private residence at the end of Kempton Place (private property). A radar tower was also once located here. Another fire-control station was also once located about 900 feet west, destroyed in 1970 (concrete debris remains on shoreline adjacent to the Warren Point Beach Club).

Sachuest Point Battery
(Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge)
(1917 - 1919), Sachuest
Located at the mouth of the Sakonnet River. It was armed with two 4.72-inch guns originally from Fort Strong, MA. One of these guns is now on display in Ansonia, CT. During WWII a Naval Radio Communications Station, three Coast Artillery fire-control stations, and a radar tower were located here. Nothing remains except some concrete debris. Became a wildlife refuge in 1970. The Naval radio station closed in 1973.

Brenton Point Military Reservation
(Brenton Point State Park)
(1941 - 1946), Newport
Located here was an unnamed battery of four 155mm guns on Panama mounts (1942 - 1943), which is mostly destroyed (one mount left), and Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Battery 923 (1943) mounts removed in 1989. Two radar towers were also here.

Fort Adams (State Park)
(1793/1824 - 1946/1964), Newport FORT WIKI
Fort Adams was built on the site of an earlier Patriot and French fort from 1780 (see page 2). Rebuilt in 1798 with 17 guns, and repaired in 1808. It was named in 1799. The current structure was built beginning in 1824. The Advanced Redoubt was built in 1825. An exterior 10-gun Water Battery was built in 1874 - 1876. An unnamed battery from 1898 was built on one of the platforms, using an M1888 8-inch BL gun on a modified 15-inch Rodman carriage. Also still emplaced on the battery in 1898 were three 15-inch and four 8-inch rifled Rodman guns. Battery Bankhead was later built over the Water Battery. Endicott batteries on the west side of the old fort include Battery Belton (1907 - 1925), Battery Bankhead (1907 - 1913), Battery Reilly (1899 - 1917), and Battery Talbot (1899 - 1917). One gun of this battery is on display in Equality Park on Broadway downtown. On the south side of the old fort are two mortar batteries, Battery Edgerton (1898 - 1943), and Battery Greene (1898 - 1943), which was renamed Battery Gilmore in 1940. During WWII an HDCP and an AA battery were located on post, as well as several mobile 90mm guns. The 1873 Eisenhower House was the former Commandant's Quarters, used by President Eisenhower as a Summer White House in 1958 and 1960. The post was transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1949. Became a state park in 1965. See also PHOTOS from Galen Frysinger

Fort Wetherill (State Park)
(1896 - 1946), Jamestown
Located across the channel from Fort Adams. It replaced Fort Dumplings (see page 2). It was given its current name in 1900. Endicott batteries here are Battery Wheaton (1908 - 1945), Battery Varnum (1901 - 1943), Battery Dickenson (1908 - 1947) modified in WWII, Battery Zook (1908 - 1918), Battery Crittenden (1908 - 1946), Battery Cooke (1901 - 1920), Battery Walbach (1908 - 1942), and Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Battery 924 (1943) unfinished, which was previously an AA battery (1920's). A double mine observation station (collapsed/burned 1996) was located at the site of the old Dumplings Tower. Anti-submarine nets went across the East Pasage to Fort Adams. Became a state park in 1972.

Fort Burnside
(Beavertail State Park)
(Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association)
(1940 - 1948), Beavertail, Jamestown
Located south of Fort Getty, across the channel from Brenton Point. Batteries here are Battery 213 (1943 - 1948), and New Battery Whiting (AMTB #5) (1942 - 1946). Battery 110 was to be built here. Located just north of Battery 213 is the Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP) observation and command station. A Naval Radio Station was also once located here after WWII, now closed and dismantled since the 1970's. There are two Army mine casemates at Hull Cove near Clarks Village, buried and built on. The present Beavertail Lighthouse was built in 1856, replacing the earlier 1754 tower.

Fort Getty (Town Park/Campground)
(1900 - 1946), Beaverhead, Jamestown
Located on Fox Hill on the southwestern side of Conanicut Island. Batteries here were Battery Tousard (1910 - 1942) partially buried, Battery House (1910 - 1942) mostly buried, Battery Whiting (1910 - 1942), and Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Battery 922 (1943 - 1946), which is partially buried. Became a park in 1955.

Located nearby on Prospect Hill to the south on Battery Lane are six concrete fire-control stations.

Fort Greble
(Dutch Island State Wildlife Management Area)
(1863 - 1946), Dutch Island
A Third-System work was planned here but was never built. During the Civil War, there was the eight-gun Middle (or Upper) Battery (modified in 1869, two platforms still extant), and the 11-gun Lower Battery (still extant) on the former U.S. Lighthouse Reservation. The garrison at that time was encamped at Camp Bailey (1864). The 30-gun Battery at Dutch Island (actually three detached batteries forming a circle) was built in 1872 - 1876, but was never completed. Only four gun platforms and magazines were ever built. An unnamed battery (one 6-inch Armstrong) was here in 1898. They were demolished in 1898 to built Batteries Mitchell and Hale. The Post at Dutch Island was formally named in 1898. Endicott batteries here are Battery Sedgwick (1901 - 1942), Battery Hale (1898 - 1942), Battery Mitchell (1905 - 1917), and Battery Ogden (1900 - 1920). An AA battery (1925) is adjacent to Battery Mitchell. A WWI era concrete fresh-water cistern collapsed in 2000, forcing the island's closure to the public for several years. The Dutch Island Lighthouse was built in 1856, replacing an earlier 1826 tower. The island is presently mostly overgrown and not maintained. Access by private boat only.

Fort Kearny
(U.R.I. Graduate School of Oceanography)
(1899 - 1946), South Ferry
Located opposite Fort Getty. It was named in 1905. It was the ferry and supply terminal for Forts Greble and Getty. It is now the site of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. Batteries here are Battery French (1908 - 1917), which is built on, Battery Cram (1908 - 1943), and Battery Armistead (1908 - 1942), which is also built on. Guided walking tours are offered on occasion each summer.

Fort Varnum
(Rhode Island National Guard - Regional Training Institute)
(1941 - 1947, 1958 - present), Boston Neck
Located in between Fort Kearny and Fort Greene (2) and situated opposite the channel of Fort Burnside. Batteries here are New Battery House (1942 - 1947), New Battery Armistead (1942 - 1946), and Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Battery 921 (1943 - 1946). Four fire-control stations still remain here, disguised as typical New England beach houses. The reservation is still currently used by the Rhode Island National Guard as Camp Varnum, home to the Regional Training Institute. Public access restricted.

Fort Nathanael Greene (2)
(Fishermen's Memorial State Park)
(1934 - 1948/present), Point Judith
Originally named Point Judith Reservation until 1941. Fort Greene is divided into three separate sections. The East Reservation has Battery Hamilton / 108 (1943 - 1948). The RI National Guard still uses this parcel as a training area. The West Reservation has Battery 109 (1944). The present state park uses this parcel, as well as most of the former southern parcel. The park office incorporates a former battery command - fire-control tower/silo. The South Reservation has Battery 211 (1945 - 1948) at the water's edge, and an unnamed four-gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts that are mostly buried under the beach. The Point Judith Fishermen's Memorial is located at Battery 211. Three fire-control stations were once located near here at the present Camp Cronin Recreation Area, disguised to resemble typical New England style beach houses. One still remains.
(Not to be confused with Fort Greene (1) in Newport)

Block Island Military Reservation
(1934 - 1948), Block Island
A two-acre military base camp located along Beach Ave. near Harbor Pond, used by the Army's Coast Artillery and Signal Corps in support of the several fire-control, radar, and searchlight stations on the island, manned by both the Narragansett Bay and Eastern Long Island Sound Harbor Defense Commands. There were no major gun batteries emplaced here, other than machine-gun beach defenses. Four outlying sites around the island were used for fire-control stations for both of the local harbor defense commands. A total of eight separate stations and towers, along with two radar towers and a protected switchboard bunker, were built. Four of the stations still remain today as private residences.

ALSO: Additional fire-control stations for the Newport Defenses not already mentioned above were located at Bonnet Point (Narragansett) (one remains), Green Hill (three towers gone), Charlestown (Quonochontaug Neck) (one cottage remains, with a protected switchboard bunker nearby at Blue Shutters Beach near the southwest corner of Ninigret Pond), Weekapaug (Noyes' Neck) (two towers gone), Watch Hill Point (two towers gone), Gay Head on Martha's Vineyard, Mass. (one in ruins), Cuttyhunk Island, Mass. (three remain), and at Gooseberry Point, Mass. (three, two remain). A 40mm AMTB battery was located at the "Stone Bridge" in Tiverton. Major anti-aircraft defenses were emplaced and manned by the Army at Rose Island (four 5-inch naval AA, replaced by four 90mm AA), at Ruggles Avenue (Rodgers High School) in Newport (four 5-inch naval AA, replaced by four 90mm AA), at Eustis Avenue and Loyola Terrace in Newport (four 5-inch naval AA, replaced by four 90mm AA); and at the Quonset Naval Station (eight 40mm AA and 24 20mm AA), Newport Naval Training Station (three 5-inch naval AA), and Naval Torpedo Station (12 20mm AA). There were also 18 AA searchlight positions.

Some information provided by Alex Holder of the Coast Defense Study Group, and also by John Duchesneau of the Fort Adams Trust.

Camp Palmer
(1918 - 1919), Coasters Harbor Island, Newport
A WWI Naval recruit training camp once located on the northern end of the island, where the present-day Surface Warfare Officers School is today, part of Naval Station Newport.

The U.S. Naval War College was established here in 1884. The Naval War College Museum is located in Founders Hall. Public access through Gate 1 at Naval Station Newport. The island was also home to the Naval Training Station since 1881. Anti-aircraft defenses (three 5-inch naval AA guns) were emplaced here by the Army in WWII (1942 - 1944). The Navy also had several (at least two) 5-inch AA guns under their own command.

Price's Neck Firing Range
(1942 - 1945), Newport
A WWII Naval Anti-Aircraft Gunnery Training Center for 20mm, 40mm, and 3-inch AA guns was located on Price's Neck along the southern shore of the city, off of Ocean Avenue. Concrete remnants of the firing line still remain.

Rhode Island Mainland - page 1 | Narragansett Bay I - page 2

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