The fort had barracks for the men, cottages for officers and their families, and a large residence for the commanding officer. Other buildings included the post exchange, which was much like a general store, and the guardhouse, which served as the police station.
Families of the officers resided at Fort Canby. Much like a small town, the fort also had a hospital, school, library, fire station and a gymnasium.
The U.S. Army began constructing Fort Canby in 1863. The next year the first troops arrived. Over the next 80 years, improvements at Fort Canby kept pace with changes in the military technology of coast defense. The fort remained intact as a military reservation until 1948.
Here at Battery Harvey Allen you can explore the interior of a typical pre-WWI American coastal fortification.
You can also visit the site of the nearby radar station that was built during WWII.
The granite blocks to your right are some of the foundation stones that once supported "Big Betsy," a 15-inch Rodman gun originally emplaced at West Battery near the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.
The first batteries at Fort Canby were little more than simple banks of earth that formed a low wall in front of the guns.
The batteries contained a collection of Rodman guns and several 10-inch Parrott guns.
Smooth-bore guns like "Big Betsy" dominated artillery design for hundreds of years until the 19th century,
The massive blast force of "Big Betsy" (in background) broke the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse glass when it was fired for the first time.
The gun was then moved to a better location.
After "Big Betsy" was removed from the defenses, the granite foundation stones were pushed into the draw behind the lighthouse.
They were move here in the mid-1970s and reassembled.