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Fort Worden Searchlight Tower


Built in 1901, atop Artillery Hill, the tower at Fort Worden was the primary fire control station for the guns used at the fort. In 1910, the tower was moved to the beach, near the Battery Kinzie, and outfitted with a 60-inch carbon light. There, it was primarily used as an observation and searchlight station.

Fort Worden
Port Townsend,

Captain George Vancouver first explored the waters in and around Port Townsend in 1792. It was he who named the point of land, jutting out into Admiralty Inlet, "Point Wilson".

The first fort there, aptly named Fort Wilson, was built in 1855. Its mission was to protect Port Townsend from an attack from the local natives. Hostilities ended a year later and the fort was abandoned.

Nearly 50 years later, Fort Worden was built on the site. Together with forts Casey and Flagler, the three fortresses formed the "Triangle of Death". It was said no enemy ship could pass into the Puget Sound unnoticed.

The post was established in May of 1902. When it was decommissioned in 1953, it was noted Fort Worden never "fired in anger".

Now a state park, Fort Worden promises myriad adventures. Water is center to so many of the activities at the 440-acre park, which offers camping, dormitories, "officers' row" accommodations, and has convention center capabilities.

There are still a number of accessible underground cement bunkers, which once housed munitions. The "uphill" ones are best. They're a blast to explore, but do use caution with small children. Depending on the age, it may be too dark for some wee ones at certain points.

If you get "lost" while exploring, or on a hike, just remember to head downhill.


Date Last Modified:9/25/19
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