Ilwaco in Pacific County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
Keeping Pace with Technology
The fort had barracks for the men, cottages for officers and their families, and a large residence for the commanding officer. Other buildings included the post exchange, which was much like a general store, and the guardhouse, which served as the police station.
Families of the officers resided at Fort Canby. Much like a small town, the fort also had a hospital, school, library, fire station and a gymnasium.
The U.S. Army began constructing Fort Canby in 1863. The next year the first troops arrived. Over the next 80 years, improvements at Fort Canby kept pace with changes in the military technology of coast defense. The fort remained intact as a military reservation until 1948.
Here at Battery Harvey Allen you can explore the interior of a typical pre-WWI American coastal fortification. You can also visit the site of the nearby radar station that was built during WWII.
The granite blocks to your right are some of the foundation stones that once supported "Big Betsy," a 15-inch Rodman gun originally emplaced at West Battery near the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.
The first batteries at Fort Canby were little more than simple banks of earth that formed a low wall in front of the guns. The batteries contained a collection of Rodman guns and several 10-inch Parrott guns. Smooth-bore guns like “Big Betsy” dominated artillery design for hundreds of years until the 19th century,
Location. 46° 16.691′ N, 124° 3.217′ W. Marker is in Ilwaco, Washington, in Pacific County. Marker can be reached from Cape Disappointment Road 0.4 miles south of Coast Guard Road when traveling south. Touch for map. This marker is located at the Cape Disappointment Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. The marker is on the back (north) side of the Interpretive Center, near the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Ilwaco WA 98624, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Canby (here, next to this marker); Lewis and Clark Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Cape Disappointment Lighthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Life of a Lighthouse Keeper (approx. 1.8 miles away); Clamshell Railroad Driving Tour (approx. 2.1 miles away); An Evolving Playground (approx. 2.2 miles away); A Disastrous Year (approx. 2.3 miles away); Battery Pratt (approx. 6.4 miles away in Oregon). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ilwaco.
More about this marker. Marker consists of two panels on a tall kiosk structure.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. "Big Betsy" 15-inch Rodman gun
Also see . . .
1. Fort Canby.
Fort Canby (1852-1947) - Established in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War and activated 15 Apr 1864 (Submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Fort Canby WWII Radar Site.
Fort Canby WWII Radar Site (1943-1946) - A World War II U.S. Army Radar Site established in 1943. Used to provide fire control information to large caliber (6" and above) coastal gun batteries in the Harbor Defense of the Columbia against enemy warships. Located on Fort Canby, Pacific County, Washington. Closed in 1946. (Submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Rodman's Great Guns.
Specifications were impressive. The 15-inch Rodman gun was 15 feet, 10 inches long, with a bore length of 13 feet, 9 inches, or 11 times caliber, a good deal shorter than the general rule. Most black-powder artillery, other than howitzers and mortars, had a bore length of fifteen to twenty times caliber. With an odd bottle-shaped appearance, and the absence of reinforcing rings, something new to artillery, the gun had a maximum outside diameter of four feet. (Submitted on April 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 66 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 6. submitted on April 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 7. submitted on April 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.