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Helen Betts | profile | all galleries >> Rediscovering Home >> Washington Rediscovered: Year 2 >> Fort Washington, Guarding the Nation's Capitol tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Fort Washington, Guarding the Nation's Capitol

We visited the historic Fort Washington over the weekend, our first time ever there. We were originally on a quest for birds but didnít find many along the shore so opted to tour the fortification instead, where we actually did end up seeing a large group of bald eagles and hawks circling high above us.

"Fort Washington, located in Maryland, was for many decades the only defensive fort protecting Washington, D.C. The original fort, overlooking the Potomac River, was completed in 1809, and was begun as Fort Warburton but renamed in 1808. During the War of 1812 the fort was destroyed by its own garrison during a British advance.

"The current historic fort -- maintained by the National Park Service -- was initially constructed in 1824. It is a stone structure with a good cannon shot down the Potomac River. The fort was extensively remodeled in the 1840s and 1890s. The Fort was turned over to the US Department of the Interior in 1946 after its last military personnel departed.

"The expansive grounds of the present Fort Washington Park, with its extensive hiking/bicycle paths and river view, are a scenic venue for picnicking, fishing and outdoor recreation. Historical re-enactments are held periodically at the fort, and there is a small museum. In 2006, repairs were done to shore up the crumbling outer wall, in preparation for the 200th anniversary.
Fort Washington Lighthouse (1882)
Fort Washington Lighthouse (1882)
Fort Washington gate
Fort Washington gate
Guardhouse with cannonball fireplace
Guardhouse with cannonball fireplace
Gun emplacements
Gun emplacements
Cannon at Fort Washington
Cannon at Fort Washington
Storage for something
Storage for something
Quarters
Quarters
More military quarters
More military quarters
Fortifications
Fortifications
Outside the fort
Outside the fort
River view
River view
View of the capital from Fort Washington
View of the capital from Fort Washington