Fort Hancock
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Protecting the New York Harbor
As I strolled the grounds of Fort Hancock and poked around the buildings, the trail, mortar battery, museum, and lighthouse I tried to picture this busy fort in the days when it thrived. I stood on the Parade Grounds and imagined a parade with the military families present. Fort living was a huge family affair I was told. In 1859, the Army Engineers built a massive fort on Sandy Hook. That was the beginning of its history. In 1895 came Fort Hancock, a coastal defense fort protecting New York Harbor and New York City until 1974. It was an Army base.The Fort was decommissioned in 1974,and is now part of the New York Parks System. There is a museum and there are over 100 buildings that remain on the fort. Efforts to maintain and repair the fort are ongoing. One of the houses in Officer's Row is a museum decorated as in the days of the forties. Take a tour and enjoy this trip back in history. There is a schedule of events available. Enjoy some time at the beach or take the trail ( get the guide booklet at the museum ).Visit the mortar battery. Try your hand at fishing. Birdwatching is great there. Tour the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and its museum. In Summer, take the Sunstreak Ferry from Manhattan to Fort Hancock. (How about a day trip to Manhattan or overnight in New York City when finished at Fort Hancock)? Fort Hancock is historic America. Children of all ages will appreciate this experience. I have been a few times and still want to go again. Info: www.nps.gov/gate/
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