Fire Control Stations
Modern Coastal Defenses
Along this 400-foot path at an elevation of 125 feet are six in-ground stations designed as observation posts and orientated generally south towards Rhode Island Sound. When these posts were in use the surrounding landscape was entirely clear of trees so observers had an unobstructed view of the water to the east, west, and south. The posts were manned by two to four soldiers and accessible only by the ladder through an opening in the roof.
Sightings instruments were used to take bearings on targets, which were communicated by telephone to the plotting rooms of gun batteries at forts within the Bay. Combining this data with similar information from the other observation posts, the plotters were able to aim their guns for accurate fire upon approaching enemy ships.
As originally designed, positions 1, 2, and 3 functioned as
Over the years the functions of the stations changed. For example, the structure before you served as the Fort Commander's Station for nearby Fort Getty in 1921, as the overall Harbor Defense Command Post in 1934, and as the seat of the Harbor Mine Command in 1943.
During World War II, only positions 1 and 6 were in active use. From here, personnel of the Harbor Mine Command, observing both the East and West Passages, were in direct communication with related facilities across the island at Fort Wetherill. During that war, the 243rd Coast Artillery Regiment of the Rhode Island National Guard manned the majority of the coastal defense site in the Narragansett Bay area.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, World I • War, World II • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1916.
Location. 41° 28.834′ N, 71° 23.59′ W. Marker is in Jamestown, Rhode Island, in Newport County. Marker can be reached from Battery Lane. Follow Battery Lane to the gravel parking lot you will see two paths (they make a large loop) take the left path a couple hundred feet and you will see the
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Conanicut Battery (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Memorial to the Veterans of Jamestown (approx. 1½ miles away); Fort Wetherill (approx. 1.8 miles away); Harbor Mine (Torpedo) Complex (approx. 1.8 miles away); History of the Dumplings (approx. 1.8 miles away); Oil Storage Building (approx. 2.2 miles away); History of the Beavertail Light Station (approx. 2.2 miles away); Fog Signal Building (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jamestown.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 534 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 22, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.