16-20 Jun 2009 – Last year we visited Fort Worden and many of the other Puget Sound coastal defense forts but we had only an afternoon at Fort Worden and we missed a lot. This visit was in our new motor home and we scheduled four days at the Fort Worden RV campground and it still wasn’t enough. The RV campground was great from a location and facilities perspective, it’s located on Point Wilson, just a short walk from the Wilson Point lighthouse and two Endicott Period batteries (Battery Kinzie and Battery Vicars).
The remains of the AMTB-Point Wilson WWII battery can be seen at the end of Point Wilson. Trails lead up the bluff to Artillery Hill where eight of the Endicott Period gun batteries are located (Batteries Walker, Tolles, Brannan, Powell, Benson, Ash, Quarles and Randol).
We had completely missed Battery Brannan and the WWII Harbor Defense Command Post/Harbor Entrance Command Post (HDCP/HECP) on our first trip so we concentrated on those two sites first. Battery Brannan was a 12″ mortar battery that originally had 8 mortars arranged in two pits. This was later reduced to two mortars in each pit.
Battery Brannan is a bit overgrown, especially across the top, and it was difficult to photograph all the features but we got the job done. The HDCP/HECP was right behind Battery Brannan at the highest point on Artillery Hill but it is only open for tours on Saturdays so we had to be content with outside views on our first visit.
On Saturday we hitched a ride up Artillery Hill with Alfred Chiswell, a 10 year volunteer with the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, to see the World War II reenactors with their vintage military vehicles and the HDCP/HECP. We got a great tour of the inside of the HDCP/HECP from Bill Braun. Much hard work has been done on the HDCP/HECP by the volunteers to clean it out and interpret it. The vehicle and equipment display was outstanding.
Our visit to Fort Worden was part of our Puget Sound fort tour that included Fort Casey, Camp Hayden, Fort Flagler, Fort Ebey, the Whidbey Island Blockhouses, Fort Rodd Hill and Fort Macaulay. The visit to Fort Rodd Hill and Fort Macaulay required a ferry trip to Victoria, Canada, and we had a great time in Victoria. Fort Rodd Hill is a must-see, more about that later.
Our thanks to everyone at Fort Worden who made our stay so enjoyable.
This post was written by JohnStanton on July 3, 2009