Friday, December 20, 2013

Spooky Old Fort

I promised y'all I'd post about our field trip to Fort Macon ages ago.
It's a cool, quiet, spooky old place. It was built in the early 1800s.
It's right on the beach.
Here's the entrance. If you're wondering about the shape of the fort, the photo below shows this. Not my photo -- we did not opt for the helicopter ride - haha :)
You see the thick, protective earthen fort, containing all the rooms, ammo, etc. Then there's a moat outside of that, and another high wall with gun placements (on the top of the photo) facing the sea.
The guns slide around.
This is the walkway around the outer wall. It's a windy, bleak place, but beautiful.
Julia explored this dark corner. That's she, entering the rounded doorway.
A good look at the moat. I don't think they ever filled it with water though.
And here's the side of the fort itself -- thick brick.
The flag was at half-mast, honoring the passing of Mr. Mandela. I believe his services were that day.
I descended from the outer embankment and entered the fort through this door.
Inside the fort, many hallways looked just like this. I can't imagine living there with hundreds of men, packed in like rats.
Here's the interior of the fort. It was operational during the Civil War, was a quiet park during WWI, and was brought back to service in WW2 when the German u-boats were patrolling the NC coast.
This is a typical room, called a casemate.
They've refurbished a few of the rooms.  Each one looks as it did at the various times the fort was occupied.
Here's the mighty outdoor furnace. They heated solid cannon balls here until they were red hot and then shot them out at the ships in the ocean.
Here's an interesting photo of two residents of the fort during Civil War years. The lanky fellow on the left reminded me so of deceased Robinson family members from old family albums, that I had to capture his photo again.
Jechonias -- I could imagine my ancestors using that name, oh yes.
The living quarters were populated with creepy-looking full-sized mannequins sporting bushy facial hair.
Two men shared one bed and they packed about 40 men into each casemate.
The windows, however, are lovely.
This door leads to the under-stairwell storage for ammunition and gunpowder.
This storage room is for foodstuffs.
Unusual spelling of sour kraut.
And here's the dining hall, a small, simple place.
I like the food warming stations.

Over the years many visitors have left their scribbles on the walls.
Julia dominates the cannon balls.

The furnace from above.

These are interesting steps. See the dent in each step? A cannon ball from a ship (I think) bumped its way down these steps. It's bizarre to see movement from so far in the past.
I love the floor in the sally port.
I wore sandals that day because it was so beautifully warm. But I took along a pair of socks just in case. Good thing, too! However, when we went shopping afterward, I looked horrible in black slacks and white socks, with those shoes :)
This is the fort's bakery. The oven was rebuilt later because during one of the fort's active times the soldiers tore down the oven, needing more storage room.
Julia's job was to do some sketching at the fort. This was an easy task; the fort lends itself well to art, with its moody, stormy faces.
Julia noticed that the shape of the fort (as seen in the ariel view photo before) was used all over the park. You see it here in the accents on the arches at the visitors' center.
Fort Macon has free admission, and it's adjacent to the beach we visit often in the summer, so I believe I'll go there many times in the future, now that I know how wonderful it is. Thanks for coming along!


  1. You are a fine teacher, good on field trips!
    I feel bad for those men who had to share those small beds. They must have been so tired and cold that they didn't mind. Fascinating.
    We went to a few forts for field trips when I was a kid. I wonder if we understood what we were seeing. I don't think so.

  2. Very interesting. This fort looks like nothing I've ever seen before, not even the Alamo.


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