Fort Stevens State Park
Fort Stevens was the primary military defense installation in the three fort Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River.
The fort served for eighty-four years, beginning with the Civil War and closing at the end of World War II.
The reconstructed earthworks originally built in 1863 – 1865 is Oregon’s only direct link to the Civil War. Over 100 years ago, young soldiers dressed in Union blue stood watch over Fort Stevens.
Fort Stevens enjoys the distinction of being the only military installation in the continental United States to be fired on since the War of 1812.
On the night of June 21, 1942, the Fort was the target of a Japanese submarine, which fired seventeen shells in the vicinity of the Fort. The shelling caused no damage, and Fort Stevens did not return fire.
On October 25,1906, the Peter Iredale ran aground along what is now the beach of the state park when it met a strong southwest storm. The crew were rescued, but they later learned that they could have waded ashore at low tide.
A skeleton of the ship is still there, and is much photographed.
Today, Fort Stevens has grown into a 3,700 acre state park offering exploration of history, nature and recreational opportunities.
Its museum features military artifacts, guided tours, interpretive displays, movies, and living history demonstrations.
Fort Stevens State Park is ten miles west of Astoria, and near Hammond, Oregon.
It is the third largest park in the state and the largest camping facility in the State Park system.
It has hiking trails, a nature trail, wildlife viewing areas, picnic areas, paved bike paths, lakes and miles of sandy beaches
A network of nine miles of bicycle trails and six miles of hiking trail allow visitors to explore the park through spruce and hemlock forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine.
See map of the park and the historic military site.
We would like to thank Kristin Oja, Interpretive Ranger Aide, of Fort Stevens State Park, for providing information for this page.
(Updated October 2011)