Central California

Camp at Adobe Meadows | Camp Anderson (1) | Antelope Creek Post | Camp Atascadero
Camp Babbitt | Camp Barbour | Camp in Bear Valley | Camp Belt | Benicia Arsenal
Benicia Barracks | Benicia Depot | Fort Benton | Camp Big Red Hill | Camp at Bishop Creek
Camp Budd | Cambria Radar Station | Camp at Campbell | Fort Cape of Pines | El Castillo
Fort Catesby | Chouchille Camp | Camp Columbus | Copperopolis Armory | Camp Coster
Camp Crane | Camp Davenport's Place | Camp Del Monte | Camp Frederica
Camp Frémont (1) | Camp Fremont (2) | Camp at Fremont Peak | French Camp
Friday's Station Post | Camp General Grant Park | Camp Giant Forest | Camp Gigling
Gigling Res. | Camp Gilmore (1) | Camp Halleck | Fort Halleck | Camp Hooker
Camp near Hornitos | Camp Independence (2) | Fort Independence | Camp near Ione City
Camp Jackson | Jones' Fort (1) | Camp Kaweah | Camp Kearny (1) | Camp on King's River
Lone Pine Post | Camp Low | Mare Island Post | Camp McClear | Camp McClellan
Camp McDougall | Camp McQuaide | Camp Merriam (2) | Fort Mervine | Camp Miller (3)
Fort Miller | Miller's Camp (1) | Miller's Camp (2) | Camp Millwood | Camp Mineral King
Fort Monroe | Monterey Barracks | Monterey Depot | Post at Monterey | Presidio of Monterey
Monterey Redoubt | Morro Bay Battery | Mt. Whitney Signal Station
Fort New Helvetia | Camp Old Colony Mill | Ord Barracks | Camp Ord | Fort Ord
Pigeon Point Radar Station | Fort on Pine Creek | Fort Point of Pines | Point Sur Radar Station
Poole's Fort | Camp Pryor | Camp Red Hill | Camp at Sacramento | Fort Sacramento
Sacramento Post | Post near Sacramento City | Mission San Antonio de Padua
Mission San Carlos Borroméo | Camp at San Felipe (2) | Camp San José
San Juan Bautista Garrison (1) | San Juan Bautista Post (2) | Camp San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo Post | Camp San Miguel | Santa Clara Garrison | Camp Santa Cruz
Fort Savannah | Camp Sequoia | Camp Sequoia National Park | Camp Sigel | Camp Smith
Camp Stanford | Camp Stanislaus | Camp Steele | Fort Stockton (2) | Camp at the Summit
Sutter's Fort | Camp at Sutter's Fort | Post near Sutterville | Camp Three Rivers
Camp Tulare | Camp Union | Fort Visalia | Camp Washburn's Ranch | Fort Washington
Camp near Wawona | Camp Weishan's Hill | Camp Wisher's Hill | Camp Wood
Camp Yosemite | Post at Yosemite National Park | Yount's Blockhouse

Northern California - page 1 | San Francisco Bay Area - page 3
Sonoma-Marin Headlands - page 4 | Southern California I - page 5
Southern California II - page 6

CALIFORNIA STATE MILITARY MUSEUM
THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS TRAIL
CALIFORNIA MISSION STUDIES ASSOCIATION

FORT WIKI - CALIFORNIA

Last Update: 25/JULY/2010
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2010 American Forts Network

George Yount's Blockhouse
(1836 - unknown), Yountville
An American settlers' blockhouse.

Mare Island Post
(1861 - 1862), Vallejo
Federal soldiers and Marines were billeted aboard the U.S.S. Independence to safeguard the Federal Navy Yard during the early part of the Civil War. The first detachmant of 114 Marines arrived in December 1862. See also Military Yearbook Project by Richard Morgan

Benicia Barracks
(Benicia Historical Museum)
(The Arsenal - Benicia, CA)
(1849 - 1898), Benicia
Originally a Quartermaster Depot until 1852. Federal troops left in 1861, but the California Volunteers moved in for the duration of the war. No remains. State marker

Benicia Arsenal (1851 - 1964) was also located here, the first Federal arsenal west of the Rocky Mountains. It was also the largest ordnance supply depot on the Pacific coast. The post had also been used for various state military functions until it was closed in 1964. Several stone buildings still exist, including the 1859 Clock Tower which features gun ports and rifle slits for defense. The Clock Tower was originally a three-story building with two towers, but only one tower and two stories survive today due to damage from an explosion and fire in 1912. The Benicia Historical Museum is located in the former 1855 Camel Barns. The camels from the Army's Camel Corps were transported and stabled here for eventual sale in 1863-64 after the outfit was disbanded. Other historic buildings are currently used by various art studios and other businesses. See also Photographic Tour of Benicia Arsenal by Peggy B. Perazzo
Benicia was the third state capital in 1853 - 1854.

Sutter's Fort (State Historic Park)
(1839 - 1850's), Sacramento
Initially a private trading post built by Johann (John) Sutter, called Fort New Helvetia or Fort Sacramento, it had 18-foot high adobe walls with bastioned corners, and was armed with 12 Russian guns purchased from Fort Ross in 1841. As the largest and most fortified post in northern California, it became the Bear Flag (Independent California) headquarters in 1846. The U.S. Army took control later that year, and referred to the post as both Sutter's Fort and Fort Sacramento. The Army left in 1847, returned in 1849 - 1850 (aka Camp at Sutter's Fort). Sutter lost ownership in 1849 due to the 1848 Gold Rush, in which his land was taken over by numerous squatters. The fort was restored in 1893. Located at 2701 I Street. The original name for the Sacramento settlement was New Helvetia. State marker || The Coloma Road

Camp J.W. Anderson (1)
(1849), Sacramento
A Federal infantry encampment used as a staging area before establishing Camp Far West on the Bear River. Located first in a swamp south of Suttersville, then moved a few days later to a levee at the town's landing site. Alternate names include Post near Sacramento City, and Post near Sutterville (sic).

Camp Union
(1861 - 1866), Sacramento
A Civil War training camp for state troops. Original site located on the north side of the Sacramento River at an old racetrack. Due to flooding, the post moved later in 1861 across the river to Suttersville (southern area of Sacramento). Site located at Suttersville and Del Rio Roads. State marker

Sacramento Post
(1894), Sacramento
A temporary summer encampment of Federal artillery, cavalry, infantry, and Marine units.

Camp at Sacramento was a CA National Guard summer camp in 1895.

Antelope Creek Post
(1865), near Sacramento
A temporary detachment post located 12 miles northeast of town.

Camp McClellan
(1861), Auburn
A mustering point for the CA Volunteers.

Camp Sigel
(1861 - 1862), near Auburn
A mustering point for the CA Volunteer Infantry.

Friday's Station Post
(1864), near South Lake Tahoe
A fortified stage station. Undetermined exact location, possibly in Stateline, Nevada.

Camp Jackson
(1865), Ione
Also called Camp near Ione City. Garrisoned by the CA Volunteer Cavalry for three months.

Federal Armory
(1860's), Copperopolis
Regional headquarters for Union (CA Volunteers) troops during the Civil War. The building is still extant, located in the south end of town.

Camp near Hornitos
(1865), Hornitos
A short-lived military post, located about 18 miles northeast of Merced.

Camp in Bear Valley
(1864), Mariposa

Camp Frémont (1)
(1851), Mariposa County
A temporary camp used for signing a peace treaty with the Indians. Located on or near the Little Mariposa River within today's Stanislaus National Forest.

Camp Yosemite
(Yosemite National Park)
(1891 - 1916), Yosemite National Park
Originally called Camp near Wawona and Post at Yosemite National Park. In 1901 it was renamed Camp A.E. Wood in honor of its first superintendant, but renamed again in 1907. The Army patrolled the park most of each year, but left the winter patrols to civilian rangers. The Army left when the National Park Service was created and took over park administration. The entrance checkpoint at Wawona was called Fort Monroe (1891) and was a former telegraph relay station. See also Buffalo Soldiers from NPS

A temporary Federal infantry encampment called Camp Steele (1852) was located between the middle and south forks of the Merced River.

Camp Stanislaus
(1849), Riverbank
A temporary Federal infantry summer encampment at Taylor's Ferry, on the north bank of the Stanislaus River. Also called Major Albert Miller's Camp (1).

Camp Frederica
(1850), near Ripon
A temporary Federal infantry summer encampment on the Stanislaus River about seven miles from the Durham Ferry crossing of the San Joaquin River. Also called Major Albert Miller's Camp (2).

French Camp
(1832 - 1845), French Camp
Located south of Stockton. The annual campsite at the terminus of the Oregon-California Trail used by the French Canadian fur trappers of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Camp McDougall
(1861, 1863), French Camp
Located about three miles south of Stockton, at French Camp Slough, a recruiting and training center for the CA Volunteers. Reoccupied and renamed Camp Gilmore (1) in 1863.

Camp Halleck
(1861 - 1863), Stockton
A recruiting and training post of the CA Volunteers. Located at an old racetrack near present-day Charter Way and Airport Way.

Camp Hooker
(1862), Stockton
A recruiting and training post of the CA Volunteers. Site located on McKinney Avenue south of California Street.

Camp Stanford
(1863), Stockton
A recruiting and training post of the CA Volunteers. Site located between Rose, Acacia, Van Buren, and Monroe Streets.

Camp Budd
(1896), Stockton
A CA National Guard summer camp.

Camp San José
(1846, 1848, 1863), San Jose
A Mexican garrison was captured here by the U.S. Army in 1846. An Army encampment was temporarily established in 1848, and reoccupied in 1863. The town was established in 1777, the first civic settlement in Alta California not associated with a mission or presidio. State marker
This was California's first state capital (1849 - 1851).

Camp at Campbell
(1856), Campbell
A temporary camp.

Santa Clara Garrison
(1846), Santa Clara
The Mexican garrison was captured by the U.S. Army in 1846. The post was located at the former Mission Santa Clara de Asis (1777). State marker

Camp Fremont (2)
(1917 - 1919), Menlo Park
A Federalized National Guard cantonment and training area for the 8th Division. Site sold off to the town, becoming a residential and commercial area bounded by Santa Cruz Ave., El Camino Real, and Alameda. The camp hospital later became a VA Hospital. A few buildings still survive, two as local restaurants.

Pigeon Point Radar Station
(1942 - 1944), near Pescadero
A WWII early warning anti-aircraft radar station (SCR-270), one of 65 stations built along the Pacific Coast. Also known as Station B-84. It was no longer in operation after July 1944. Located southwest of town. Nearby is the Pigeon Point Lighthouse (built in 1872).

Camp at Santa Cruz
(1887), Santa Cruz
A camp of instruction for troops from the Presidio in San Francisco.

Camp Columbus
(1892), Santa Cruz
A CA National Guard summer camp.

Camp McQuaide
(1926 - 1946), near Watsonville
Coast artillery training camp for the CA National Guard. Also spelled MacQuaide. The post was originally located in Capitola until moved to Rancho San Andrés, six miles west of town, in 1938. It was Federalized in 1940. Home of the 250th Coast Artillery until 1940. Became the main Army prison of the west coast in 1943. The site is now the Monterey Bay Academy. Many of the original buildings have been converted for new use. See also 250th Coast Artillery by Walter Dangel

San Juan Bautista Garrison (1)
(San Juan Bautista State Historic Park)
(1820's - 1846), San Juan Bautista
Spanish troops were stationed here to protect Mission San Juan Bautista (1797). A Mexican garrison here was captured by the U.S. Army in 1846. State marker

Camp Low
(1864 - 1865), San Juan Bautista
The National Hotel was rented for use as a barracks while the Army tracked down criminal outlaws in the area. Also known as San Juan Bautista Post (2).

Camp at Fremont Peak
(Fremont Peak State Park)
(1846), near San Juan Bautista
A hastily built log and earthwork fort on Gavilan (Fremont) Peak, south of town at the county line. For four days Captain John Frémont expected a battle with Californios. He left for Oregon when the battle never materialized.

Camp at San Felipe (2)
(1855), San Felipe
A temporary post on the county line, north of Hollister.

Presidio of Monterey
(Monterey State Historic Park) (U.S. Military Reservation)
(1770 - 1866, 1902 - present), Monterey
Originally called the Royal Presidio de San Carlos de Monterey (El Presidio Royal de Monterey). Located on Presidio Hill (Fort Hill), it protected the original Mission San Carlos Borroméo (1770). The mission was relocated in 1771 (see below), and the original structure then became the Royal Presidio Chapel (burned in 1789, rebuilt 1794). Below Presidio Hill was a V-shaped log and adobe revetment gun battery called El Castillo (1792) with small wooden barracks. Adobe barracks were built later. A new gun battery was built by Mexico in 1822 above El Castillo on Presidio Hill. This new work was also known as Fort Catesby and Jones' Fort (1) by the American Navy for one day in 1842 during a great misunderstanding. In 1846 the original presidio was named Fort Stockton (2) by the U.S. Navy, also known as Post at Monterey by the Army after 1847. On Presidio Hill above the old Mexican battery the American Navy built Fort Mervine (1846) (aka Fort Savannah), renamed by the Army in 1847 as Fort Halleck, then Monterey Redoubt (1847 - 1852). Today only one ravelin remains, mounted with five display guns, located behind the Army museum. The nearby Sloat Monument was dedicated in 1910. The entire reservation was designated Monterey Ordnance Depot from 1852 - 1856. Inactive until 1865, it was then designated Monterey Barracks in the last days of the Civil War. The inactive reservation was re-opened in 1902, and redesignated Ord Barracks in 1903. The present name was restored in 1904 in honor of the original Spanish post. The Army School of Musketry was located here from 1907 - 1913. The Military Intelligence Service Language School (aka Army Language School) was moved here from Fort Snelling, MN in 1946, and became today's Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

Founded in 1826, Monterey was the Mexican capital of Alta California until U.S. statehood in 1849. See also Monterey's Custom House from Monterey County Historical Society

Located two miles west on Point Piños in Pacific Grove was the Spanish redoubt Fort Point of Pines (1820 ?). It was mistakenly called Fort Cape of Pines by the Americans. It was in ruins by 1842. The Citizens' Military Training Corps (CMTC) conducted annual summer training on the grounds of the Del Monte Hotel from 1920 to 1932, known as Camp Del Monte, renamed Camp John Pryor in 1930.

Camp Kearny (1)
(1847), Monterey
Located on the outskirts of town. Original site of the Army's landing just prior to the capture of the town.

Fort Ord
(Fort Ord Dunes State Park)
(1917 - 1994/present), Seaside
Originally named Gigling Military Reservation, or Camp Gigling, then Camp Ord from 1933 until 1940, of which the Presidio became a subpost after WWII. Before 1940 this was a subpost of the Presidio, used as a manuever training area and firing range for field artillery and cavalry units. Became a major infantry training center in WWII and afterwards. Camp Clayton was the administrative and main barracks area in 1940. Much new construction after 1974. The post was closed in 1994, but a small portion of the base remains under Army control and is now called the Presidio of Monterey Annex, which includes the Ord Military Community (military housing, base PX, post chapel, and commissary), California National Guard and Army Reserve units, the DoD Center, and the gunnery ranges. Most of the land was returned to the state and became the home of California State University, Monterey Bay. The remainder was given to UC-Santa Cruz to be developed into the UC MBEST (Monterey Bay Education, Science and Technology) Center. The northern section near Marina has been commercially developed. The former Fritzsche Army Air Field (built 1960's) is now the Marina Municipal Airport. The seaside portion of the original reservation became the Fort Ord Dunes State Park, opened to the public in 2009 after years of environmental cleanup. In April 2012 all remaining Federal land was declared as the Fort Ord National Monument, managed by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). See also Military Yearbook Project by Richard Morgan

Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Rio Carmelo ?
(1771 - unknown), Carmel-by-the-Sea
A Spanish mission guard was posted here for a time after Father Junipero Serra established the new mission.

Point Sur Radar Station
(Point Sur State Historic Park)
(1942 - 1947), near Big Sur
A WWII early warning anti-aircraft radar station (SCR-271), one of 65 stations built along the Pacific Coast. Also known as Station B-85. Concrete foundation ruins still exist on private property. The state park is accessible only through private land, and therefore only open to guided tours.

Mission San Antonio de Padua ?
(1771 - unknown), Jolon
A Spanish mission guard was posted here for a time after Father Junipero Serra established the new mission. The present church (restored) was built in 1813. Located within the modern Fort Hunter Liggett Military Reservation (established in 1940). See also Friends of the Historic San Antonio Mission

Camp San Miguel
(1849 - 1851), San Miguel
An Army post located at Mission San Miguel Archangel (1797).

Camp Atascadero
(1904, 1908, 1910), Atascadero
A temporary camp of instruction at the Atascadero Ranch for various units from across the state. Also called Camp Ringgold in 1908.

Cambria Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), near Cambria
A WWII early warning anti-aircraft radar station (SCR-271), one of 65 stations built along the Pacific Coast. Also known as Station B-86. Possibly located at Ragged Point near San Simeon.

Morro Bay Battery
(1942 - 1945), Morro Bay
A field emplacement for two 155mm guns, under the Northern California Sector Command (see Harbor Defenses of San Francisco, page 3). This was to protect a Naval Section Base and an Amphibious Training Base established here.

San Luis Obispo Post
(1864), San Luis Obispo
A temporary Army detachment post.

Camp San Luis Obispo (State Military Reservation)
(1928 - present), San Luis Obispo
A CA National Guard training area located five miles west of town. Originally named Camp Merriam (2) until Federalized in 1940 for WWII training, with much new construction. Inactive from 1946 to 1951, it then became an Army Signal Corps training area. Returned to the state in 1953. Part of the original site is now a prison and grazing land. The remainder is still in use by the state guard and Army Reserve. The California Military Academy is located here. On post is the Camp San Luis Obispo Museum and Visitors Center and the Civilian Conservation Corps State Museum.

Camp Persifer Smith
(1851), Fresno County ?
A temporary camp used for signing a peace treaty with the Indians. Located in the southern San Joaquin valley at the Texon Pass.

Chouchille Camp
(1856), near Chowchilla
A temporary post.

Camp Crane
(1852), Bass Lake
A temporary encampment of troops from Fort Miller. Site is now under water below the Bass Lake Dam (1909).

Fort Miller
(Millerton Lake State Recreation Area)
(1851 - 1858, 1863 - 1864), near Friant
Originally here (or possibly 10 miles downriver) was Camp Barbour, with a blockhouse, built by the local militia (Mariposa Battalion) for an Indian commission to negotiate treaties. The Army built a new post one month later, named Camp Miller (3) until 1852. It was regarrisoned for the Civil War by the CA Cavalry. The site is now under water at Millerton Lake. The original blockhouse was relocated in 1944 to Roeding Park in Fresno when the Friant Dam was completed.

Fort Washington
(1850 - 1852), near Pinedale
A settlers' log and earthwork defense against Indians, located about 10 miles downriver from Fort Miller, at the Stockton-Visalia stage crossing of the San Joaquin River. Built by Wiley Cassady and C.D. Gibbes. Destroyed by a flood in 1852.

Camp McClear
(1851), Fresno
A temporary post on the Fresno River.

John Poole's Fort
(1850), Reedley
A fortified stage station at the ferry crossing of the Kings River, near Wah-to-he Creek, about 20 miles southeast of Fresno.

Fort Visalia
(1852 - unknown), Visalia
A settlers' town fort once located between Garden, Bridge, Race and Oak streets. It was still standing in 1860.

Camp Babbitt
(1862 - 1866), Visalia
A CA Cavalry post (crude huts and tents) located one mile north of the then town center. Established to put down seccesionist sentiments among the local populace, and also possible Indian uprisings. Moved in 1865 about one mile northeast of the original site. The original site is occupied by the Visalia ice plant at Race and Santa Fe Streets. The second site is unmarked in the vicinity of Ben Maddox Way and Houston Avenue.

Camp Tulare
(1871), near Porterville
A temporary Army post on the Tulare Indian Farm located three miles east of town.

Camp Sequoia National Park
(Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks)
(1898 - 1913), Sequoia National Park
The Army, usually the Cavalry, made regular patrols of the western National Parks beginning in 1891, but the first permanent encampment here wasn't established until 1898. This was actually a collection of campsites throughout the Sequoia and General Grant (Kings Canyon) Park areas. Camps include: Camp at the Summit, Camp Three Rivers, Camp Mineral King, Camp Big Red Hill, Camp Davenport's Place, Camp Washburn's Ranch, Camp General Grant Park, Camp Red Hill, Camp Millwood, Camp Giant Forest, Camp Weishan's Hill, Camp Wisher's Hill, Camp Old Colony Mill, Camp Kaweah, and Camp Sequoia, usually named after the nearest post office. See also Col. Charles Young, Leader and Builder from NPS

Located at or near the summit of Mount Whitney in 1883 was the Mount Whitney Signal Station operated by the Army Signal Corps.

Camp Burton (1)
(1851), Tulare County
A temporary camp used for signing a peace treaty with the Indians. Located on Paint Creek within today's Sequoia National Forest.

Camp Belt
(1851), Kings Canyon
A temporary camp used for signing a peace treaty with the Indians. Also known as Camp on King's River.

Camp at Adobe Meadows
(1862), near Benton
A temporary outpost of Camp Independence (2). Located northwest of town, about 25 miles from Aurora, NV. (See also Camp (near) Aurora, NV)

Fort Benton
(1849), Benton Hot Springs
A temporary post.

Camp at Bishop Creek
(1863), near Bishop
A temporary post.

Fort on Pine Creek
(1861 - 1865 ?), Independence
A settlers' defense against Indians, built by Charles Putnam. The town was originally named Little Pine.

Camp Independence (2)
(1862 - 1877), near Independence
Established on American Independence Day. Built by the CA Cavalry to protect area miners. Soldiers lived in caves during the first year before barracks were built. Sometimes referred to as Fort Independence. Located on the north side of Oak Creek, about three miles northeast of town. The Commanding Officer's quarters was later moved to 303 Edwards Street (US 395). The Fort Independence Indian Reservation was established in 1915. State marker

Lone Pine Post
(1862), Lone Pine
A detachment post of Camp Independence (2).

Camp Coster
(1862 - 1863), near Cartago
Located along the southern shore of Owens Lake. Established after Camp Independence (2).


Special thanks to Dan Sebby, for information from the California State Military Museum website.

Northern California - page 1 | San Francisco Bay Area - page 3 | Sonoma-Marin Headlands - page 4
Southern California I - page 5 | Southern California II - page 6

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