Fort Townsend State Park

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Fort Townsend Historical State Park
Fort Townsend15-12.jpg
Explosives laboratory for defusing enemy mines and torpedoes
Map showing the location of Fort Townsend Historical State Park
Map showing the location of Fort Townsend Historical State Park
Location in the state of Washington
LocationJefferson, Washington, United States
Coordinates48°04′24″N 122°47′22″W / 48.07333°N 122.78944°W / 48.07333; -122.78944Coordinates: 48°04′24″N 122°47′22″W / 48.07333°N 122.78944°W / 48.07333; -122.78944[1]
Area413 acres (167 ha)
Elevation190 ft (58 m)[1]
OperatorWashington State Parks and Recreation Commission
WebsiteFort Townsend State Park

Fort Townsend State Park (formerly Old Fort Townsend State Park) is a public recreation area located two miles south of Port Townsend in Jefferson County, Washington. The state park occupies a third of the site of the original Fort Townsend built in 1856. The park includes 3,960 feet (1,210 m) of shoreline on Port Townsend Bay, picnicking and camping areas, 6.5 miles (10.5 km) of hiking trails, and facilities for boating, fishing, and crabbing.[2]


Fort Townsend was built in 1856 by the U.S. Army to protect settlers.[3][4] The entire garrison was transferred to the American Camp or Camp Pickett on San Juan Island in 1859 during the border dispute called the Pig War.[5] Reactivated in 1874, the fort continued in use until fire destroyed the barracks in late 1894; it was abandoned in 1895. The site was retained on the Army rolls until World War II, when it was used as a munitions defusing station. Washington State Parks took custody in 1953, and it became a state park.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Old Fort Townsend State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b "Fort Townsend State Park". Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  3. ^ Caldbick, John (May 5, 2014). "Port Townsend — Thumbnail History". The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. HistoryLink. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  4. ^ "Fort Townsend". FortWiki. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  5. ^ Ray Theodore Cowell. "History of Fort Townsend". Washington Historical Quarterly (Vol 16 No 4 (October 1925)): 284–289. Retrieved November 11, 2018.

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