Wednesday, March 14, 2012

An Historic Playhouse--Photos from Fort Clinch

I've finally made it to North Florida and seen Fort Clinch! I'd known about the fort for some years before I wrote my article on it in November of 2010. That article has since been revised and reposted recently: see the article here.

Exploring the fort is an utterly delightful experience. It's like a huge playhouse with tunnels, towers, turrets, corridors, odd little rooms and staircases to explore. Unlike so many historic sites now, the fort is not littered with interpretive signs that you feel guilty for not reading, it's just open for exploration. Rooms within the interior buildings have been furnished and recreated as they would have appeared during the Civil War, otherwise, the fort is a huge, empty edifice. I was there last Saturday when there was a wind advisory. The wind blowing through and around the structure created a haunting, mournful tone. Other than that, I didn't see or feel any spirits. Though, I can imagine the place grows creepier after dark.

The fort does appear to need work. Even with massive cuts to the state budget, I hope that those in charge are seeing to the needs of this marvelous place. Certainly with visitors comes some income and I would encourage all my readers to check out this marvelous piece of our past.

The sally port. Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights
reserved.

The ramparts from the outside. Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell
IV, all rights reserved.

One of the remaining barracks buildings. Photo 2012, by
Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

Doors to the jail cells in the fort's brig. Photo 2012, by Lewis
Powell IV, all rights reserved.

The back of one of the barracks buildings. Photo 2012, by Lewis
Powell IV all rights reserved.

Looking down one of the tunnels leading towards
the parade ground. Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV,
all rights reserved.

My mother enters one of the fort's bastions. Photo 2012, by
Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

Looking out of one of the bastions. Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell
IV, all rights reserved.

View of the parade ground from the ramparts. Photo 2012, by
Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

One of the rampart walls from the inside. Photo 2012, by Lewis
Powell IV, all rights reserved.

A number of guns still guard the fort. Photo 2012, by Lewis
Powell IV all rights reserved.
Looking out towards the St. Marys River from the gun emplacements.
Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.
Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights
reserved.

2 comments:

  1. You know what's interesting? When I see your photos (because I haven't looked at mine of the fort in a while), it reminds me a great deal of Halifax's Citadel too. I guess fort designs had to be pretty standard by nature, but could their designs contribute to entities staying behind too?

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  2. Well, this was part of a series of government fortifications along the entire coast, so it's plausible that the plans were probably somewhat standard...even up into Canada.

    Certainly, there is an idea that octagon buildings are more likely to be haunted, so I'd be curious if the shape here could add to its activity.

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