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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sackets Harbor in Jefferson County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fort Tompkins

Principal American Defense

 
 
Fort Tompkins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
1. Fort Tompkins Marker
Inscription. 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
Fort Tompkins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
2. Fort Tompkins Marker
A close-up view, from the historical marker, of the map showing the layout of Fort Tompkins.
by successive commandants to create lawn areas around the officers' houses. In 1967, the leveled fort became part of the state historic site.
 
Erected by the State of New York. (Marker Number 8.)
 
Location. 43° 57.01′ N, 76° 7.522′ W. Marker is in Sackets Harbor, New York, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from Washington Street east of Ontario Street. Click for map. This historical marker is located near the northern edge of the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Park, near the white picket fence, along the walking trail, a short distance from the Commandant's House. Marker is in this post office area: Sackets Harbor NY 13685, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort Tompkins (a few steps from this marker); The British Withdrawal (within shouting distance of this marker); 1913 Centennial Monument (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fight for the Cantonment Area (about 300 feet away); Welcome to Sackets Harbor Battlefield (about 400 feet away); Smoothbore Muzzle Loader Cannon (about 400 feet away); American Dragoon Commander Wounded (about 600 feet away); Union Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Sackets Harbor.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar of 1812
 
Fort Tompkins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
3. Fort Tompkins Marker
A close-up view of some of the text material and the drawing of a ship's sail plan, that are displayed on the historical marker.
Fort Tompkins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
4. Fort Tompkins Marker
A close-up view of the map of Sackets Harbor, showing the location of Fort Tompkins.
Fort Tompkins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
5. Fort Tompkins Marker
View of the historical marker looking southwest across the Battlefield Park.
Fort Tompkins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
6. Fort Tompkins Marker
A distant view of the historical marker, located near the northern edge of the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Park, near the white picket fence, along the walking trail, a short distance from the Commandant's House.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 253 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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