Fort Adams, Newport
Fort Adams State Park was formed to protect Fort Adams which is the largest coastal fortification in the country. This Fort Adams replaced an earlier one built on the same site. Both were named for President John Adams. This fort was designed by Colonel Joseph Totten, who later became commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers using ideas based on French military engineer Simon Bernard, and was started in 1824. The fort was not completed, however, until 1857. Many forts along the coast were attacked during the Civil War but not Fort Adams; likely due to its formidable appearance. By World War 2 Fort Adams had evolved into a regional command center. Begin your tour at the visitors center where you can pick up an informative brochure teaching you about the progressive design of the fort, its influence on the building of future fortifications and weapon systems, and the development of military technology in general. Admission for me was $6 as of July 2014. Hours are 6 AM to 9 PM daily.
Fort Adams is located in the Fort Adams State Park. It lies along the waterfront near the mouth of the Newport Harbor. The Fort was used during the Revolutionary War to keep the British from entering the Narragansett Bay and was named for John Adams.
Daily tours are available at the fort.
The park land is used for the various Newport music festivals.
Another thing to see in addition to the fort itself is the Eisenhower House. The Eisenhower House was the residence of the commander of Fort Adams. The beautiful residence was built in 1873 and has breathtaking views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. It served as the summer White House for President Dwight Eisenhower. Today it is a popular spot for weddings, reunions and other functions.
Looking inside Fort Adams is quite impressive due to its large size and progressive innovations. There are several informative signs inside that give interesting information about its construction and the life of the people involved with the fort. Many of the workers that built the fort were Irish immigrants and there culture influenced some of those around the fort. The fort was so massive that there were a large number of soldiers and support personnel that lived in or near the fort so it had to become fairly self-contained. Fort Adams became like a small town itself. They even had their own baseball team.
They host the Newport Jazz Festival and other events inside the fort.
For a few dollars per person you get an hour long guided tour in, around, and underneath Fort Adams, which was built to protect the colonies/fledgling nation. Parts of it are undergoing renovation at the moment (May 2005). The tour guides are quite knowledgeable and if you have any interest in forts you will enjoy this tour.
There is nowhere to buy food at Fort Adams State Park, but there are picnic benches available.
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There are also displays of some of the military equipment developed here like the 24 pound gun and the Mark 13 Torpedo which could be dropped from an airplane.
Fort Adams from 1824 till 1950 guarded the entrance to Newport harbor and was the largest coastal fortification in the US. Today its a museum, entrance is only by guided tour.
If you have 20 minutes time left, it is interesting to reach Fort Adams to have a fantastic view of the coastline. There you can either lie on the beach or to take a stroll.
Ft. Adams State Park in Newport offers great views of the harbor and town. It is also the site of the annual Newport Jazz Festival.