Thursday, May 26, 2011
Cruising past Ft. Pickens
I was very appreciative to have an opportunity to go on the Military Fishing Expedition last week. As we passed Ft. Pickens, rounded the island, and headed through Pensacola Pass into the Gulf of Mexico, I took some video of the old fort. I'm especially fond of Ft. Pickens since it is the primary area I volunteer for sea turtle patrol.
Park Rangers give guided tours of the fort at 2 p.m. each day in the summer and they will tell you Santa Rosa Island is gradually shifting west. When you watch the video above, notice how far it is from the sea wall to the fort.
Now, click HERE to take a look at a drawing of Ft. Pickens done around 1861 and submitted to Harper's Weekly by a Mrs. Gilman, wife of Lieutenant Gilman, second in command at Ft. Pickens at that time. It shows rough waters swirling around the fort itself - quite a difference from what we have today.
It is my belief that the seawall which now surrounds the fort was not built until sometime after the 'killer hurricane" of 1906. On September 26/27, 1906, a hurricane hit the Pensacola area and reportedly resulted in a 10' storm surge which washed over the Ft. Pickens area and up to a 14' storm surge across the bay at Ft. McRae. The storm resulted in much damage to both Ft. Pickens and Ft. McRae, as well as the navy yards.