Fort Tompkins

Fort Tompkins (HM1FMY)

Location: Sackets Harbor, NY 13685 Jefferson County
Country: United States of America

N 43° 57.01', W 76° 7.522'

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Principal American Defense

Fort Tompkins commanded the approach to the harbor where the American fleet was under construction. It was built on ground that had been elevated by a system of wooden cribs filled with stone. The fort was armed with 20 cannon behind an earthen breastwork. The largest cannon, a 32-pounder, could be pivoted to cover both land and water approaches. In order for the British to destroy the navy yard and the ship under construction, later named the General Pike, they had to take the fort.

As the British pushed the Americans slowly back toward the harbor, the fort played a critical role. Its guns continued firing on the British despite the heat and smoke from the burning barracks and storehouses. Some of the Americans positioned in the fort would not be dislodged from its blockhouse and fought until the British retreated. Fort Tompkins was never taken.

The Navy Yard Builders

After the Battle of Sackets Harbor in 1813, the fort was continually improved upon to withstand expected attacks from Kingston, Upper Canada. By 1829, however, it had fallen into disrepair. Between 1847 and 1850, two brick officers quarters and service buildings were constructed by the U.S. Navy on the site of the fort. By the 1860s, the fort has been reduced to what is visible above ground today, its earthen walls graded down by successive commandants to create lawn areas around the officers' houses. In 1967, the leveled fort became part of the state historic site.
Marker Number8
Placed ByThe State of New York
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 1:50pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 409699 N 4866953
Decimal Degrees43.95016667, -76.12536667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 57.01', W 76° 7.522'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 57' 0.6" N, 76° 7' 31.32" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 506 W Main St, Sackets Harbor NY 13685, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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