Welcome to Fort Hunt Park. The concrete platform in front of you, Battery Mount Vernon, once held a set of heavy guns designed to protect Washington, D.C. from naval attack. In 1885, Secretary of War William C. Endicott chaired a commission that deemed our coastal defense system dangerously outdated. As a result, the military built this and other similar fortifications across the country. With the completion of this, the first of four gun batteries, in early 1898, Fort Hunt was poised to play a critical role in protecting the Nation's Capital at the beginning of the Spanish-American War. However no shots were ever fired in anger from Fort Hunt during the war.
Discover the many layers of hidden history at Fort Hunt Park:
· George Washington once owned the land you are standing on as part of his "River Farm." Here, enslaved people sowed seeds and gathered crops on the same terrain where American Indians hunted and fished for centuries.
· The Civilian Conservation Corps operated a camp for workers at this site during the Great Depression.
· In 1933, Fort Hunt Park became part of a national park, the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
· During World War II, the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service managed two secret operations here.
Be safe and help us protect our cultural heritage
· Stay on designated paths. Please watch your step. Historic surfaces are uneven and may be damp or slippery. Use handrails when climbing stairs.
· Climbing on or attempting to access restricted areas of historic structures is unsafe and may damage park resources.
· It is illegal to remove anything from Fort Hunt Park. Everything is protected so you and future generations may enjoy these historic resources.