Fort Casey on Whidbey Island in Washington State is an Endicott Period coastal fort not to be missed if you are in the area. The setting is elegant, the gun batteries are in good condition and best of all it has an actual pair of 10 inch guns on disappearing carriages mounted in Battery Worth.
We took an early ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton on Whidbey Island island to have full day at Fort Casey and Fort Ebey on July 18th 2008. This time of year the morning fog and marine layer make this a risky proposition and the short ferry ride was shrouded in fog and the drive up the island to Fort Casey was just as grey.
We turned left into Fort Casey and drove up the hill past the hidden mortar Battery Seymour and Battery Schenck. As you crest the hill, Batteries Worth, Moore and Kingsbury come into view and your eyes are immediately drawn to the 10 inch guns of Battery Worth. Even shrouded in the fog the main battery line was impressive and the guns of Battery Worth looked like they were ready to fire. The #1 gun is in the upright firing position while the #2 gun is in the retracted hidden position.
We went through the batteries taking pictures of the open rooms. The fog prevented good pictures of the batteries themselves and we decided to drive up to Battery 248 at Fort Ebey while waiting for the fog to lift.
By the time we finished at Fort Ebey the fog was lifting and we turned into Fort Casey as the sun was beginning to break through. We went through the Fort proper checking out the officer’s quarters, the NCO quarters, the enlisted barracks and the parade ground. This part of the Fort is now a conference center that was hosting a soccer camp this day. There were kids everywhere but the flavor of a coastal fort was still present.
We began a tour of the batteries (Battery Seymour, Battery Schenck, Battery Worth, Battery Moore, Battery Kingsbury, Battery Valleau, Battery Parker, Battery Turman, Battery Van Horne and Battery Trevor) with a special look at at Battery Worth and Battery Trevor. Both have mounted guns brought over from batteries in the Philippines. Battery Worth, Gun #1 was so impressive that I used one of the shots of it in the masthead of this blog. The muzzle of each gun has an identifier ring shown in the photo. The breach blocks are missing, thrown in the Pacific to prevent their capture during World War II.
Battery Trevor has two 3 inch pedestal mounted guns also from the Philippines which give you a great view of what the smaller gun batteries looked like. The full tour of Fort Casey can easily be done in half a day but you should take your time and take in all the details.
If you plan to depart Whidbey Island by the ferry from Keystone to Port Townsend you will find it is quite small and usually requires reservations. Don’t forget to visit Fort Worden in Port Towsend if you leave via this route.
This post was written by JohnStanton on October 18, 2008