"FORT COLUMBIA - HISTORY PRESERVED" Fort Columbia State Park by mtncorg

Fort Columbia State Park Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 31 photos

Fort Columbia was the last of the three forts defending the Columbia to be built - 1896. It is built upon Point Chinook just east of the future Lewis and Clark interpretative center to be built at Station Camp. The reason the fort was built later then the other forts is the same reason the interpretative center has not been built yet - legal issues with the local Chinook tribe over land. This fort is the best preserved of all three forts at the Columbia River mouth - being considerably compact, smaller and out-of-the-way probably had some impact there. The purpose of the fort was to provide additional fire support to Fort Stevens - directly southwest across the river - and Fort Canby - several miles to the west out on Cape Disappointment. The initial heart of the fort was Battery Jules Ord with its three 8-inch disappearing guns.

The fort was later put in charge of the river minefields and given a new battery of updated guns - Battery 246 - during World War II. Inactivated along with the rest of the Columbia mouth forts shortly after World War II, the fort became a State Park in 1950. Far beneath you, traffic rumbles through a tunnel on US 101, while walking above through the old fort, you are transported to an earlier time.

  • Last visit to Fort Columbia State Park: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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