Ft. Macon, North Carolina

March 4th, 2012 | Posted by Steve in Forts | Museums | Parks | Uncategorized

March 3, 2012

I have been in Fayetteville, North Carolina since Feb. 14 with no reason to drag out my camera.  An old friend of mine, Mark Buchner, now lives in NC, but he lives about two hours from Fayetteville.  We finally got our schedules cleared and agreed to meet in Jacksonville, NC for some time together and some sight seeing.  I filled the rental car with gas and drove overland to our meeting place through the rain.

Mark brought his son.  We all got into his car and drove toward Bogue Banks Island, one of the southern most of NC’s outer banks.  At Cape Carteret we drove over the bridge onto the island.  The island stretches east to west about 21 miles protecting Bogue Sound and the mainland from Atlantic storms.  Unlike the barrier islands to the north, this island does not get as many storms so it is well built up with large, expensive vacation homes.

Every so often there is public access to the beach between the homes.  The public access is really a fiction.  It is for the locals facing the road rather than the beach.  There is no public parking and No Parking signs are everywhere.  There is still real estate stress here.  For Sale and For Lease signs are almost as common as the No Parking signs.

We drove through Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shore, & Atlantic Beach with hardly a view of the ocean to our right.  Finally near the end of the island we came to Ft. Macon State Park.  The old fort dates from the 1830’s and controlled access to the mainland through Beaufort Inland Channel.

By the time we got there the rain had stopped, but the sky was mostly overcast and the wind blew at a good clip.

After the fort was built it acted as coastal defense until the beginning of the Civil War.  It was under Secessionist Militia & Confederate control for a year from April, 1861 until the Union retook it in April, 1862.  The fort operated until it was abandoned in 1903.

The state of North Carolina rebuilt the fort in the mid 1930’s as a state park until the federal government reclaimed the fort for coastal defense during WWII.  After the war it became a state park again.

The facilities are very nice.  The visitor’s center is new, and very nice architecturally.

These are some photos of the fort with some explanations.

Surf fishers near the fort along the beach facing Beaufort Inland Channel.


Ft. Macon information plaque.


Model of Ft. Macon with a few directions I added in.


Satellite view of part of North Carolina showing locale of Ft. Macon.  I added the arrow.


A view from near the visitor’s center toward the fort.  You can see the wind was still moving right along.  I did this in black & white because I knew I could bring out the clouds best this way.


Two mortars on view inside the fort.


The second of the two mortars.  The date 1862 can barely be seen along the lower rim at about 5 o’clock.  Unseen nearby is the date 1966 which makes me think this is a reproduction.


A reproduction of a store room in the fort.  A low light, no flash shot, this was at 1/8th of a second, f/8, ISO 640, & 35mm focal length on the 24-105mm lens.


A cannon on display inside the fort.  As I recall it was a 6 pounder with a 1500+ yard range.


An interior view of doorways linking the fort casements.  It was actually very dark here.  The exposure is hand held, 1/10th of a second, wide open on the lens at f/4, ISO 640, & 96mm focal length on the 24-105mm lens.


A reproduction of a powder magazine.  Not a place where you would want to light a match!


A 34 star U.S. flag shown in one of the museum displays.  The 34 star flag became official on July 4, 1861 with the admission of Kansas (admitted January 29, 1861).  It was replaced by the 35 star flag on July 4, 1863 with the admission of West Virginia (admitted June 20, 1863).


An information plaque on a 32 pound smooth bore cannon replica mounted at the top of the fort.


The 32 pound cannon mounted on the top of the fort.


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