Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pensacola Pics: The Forts, Part 2

The last fort we visited in Pensacola was Fort Pickens. The fort was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero, General Andrew Pickens.* Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay, Florida, and its navy yard. The fort was begun in 1829, completed in 1834, and used until the 1940s.*

We attempted to visit Fort Pickens in 2008, but the road to the fort was not open due to damage sustained from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. For a brief moment we thought we would walk the seven mile (yes, seven mile) roadway. Thankfully sanity prevailed. Visiting the fort would have to wait until 2009.

The famous Apache chief Geronimo was held captive in Fort Pickens from 1886 to 1887.

The view along the road to the fort is beautiful. There were beaches scattered along the way that you could stop and enjoy. But, to think we even momentarily considered walking seven miles through this. What were we thinking? We would have died! That is the Gulf of Mexico in the distance.

Those little houses in the background used to house Coast Guard Station Pensacola before the unit was relocated across the bay to the Naval Air Station in 1987. The Coast Guard has been serving Pensacola for more than 100 years.*

Over 21.5 million bricks were used in the construction of Fort Pickens.*

Above is a portion of the fort called Bastion D. On June 20, 1899, a fire in Fort Picken's Bastion D reached the bastion's magazine, which contained 8,000 pounds of powder. The resulting explosion killed one soldier and obliterated Bastion D. The force of the explosion was so great that bricks from bricks Bastion D's walls landed across the bay at Fort Barrancas, more than one and one-half miles away.

This should be the last of the Pensacola Pics series, unless I dig up a photo or two that I just want to pass along!

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