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Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fort Hancock

Coastal Defenses of Sandy Hook

 

—Maritime History —

 
Fort Hancock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
1. Fort Hancock Marker
Inscription. Sandy Hook has been fortified to defend New York Harbor for more than two centuries – first by British Loyalists occupying the Sandy Hook Lighthouse during the American Revolution and the American troops constructed a wooden palisade fort during the War of 1812.

By the 1890s, concrete gun batteries were constructed to defend against long-range naval cannon. The batteries were continually improved and remained operational through World War II. Nike missiles, placed here in the 1950s, were the final descendants of the coastal defenses built on Sandy Hook.
 
Erected by National Park Service, State of New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry.
 
Location. 40° 28.253′ N, 74° 0.269′ W. Marker is in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. Marker is on Cainfield Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in Fort Hancock in the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. Marker is in this post office area: Highlands NJ 07732, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Navigating Sandy Hook Waters (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The World War II Years (about 700 feet away); Site of Master Mechanic’s Quarters
Coastal Defenses of Sandy Hook Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
2. Coastal Defenses of Sandy Hook Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Chemical Laboratory (approx. 0.2 miles away); Locomotive Engineer’s House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Hancock Officers’ Club (approx. ¼ mile away); Proving Ground Foreman’s House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battery Potter (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sandy Hook.
 
More about this marker. A series of photographs appear on the bottom of the marker. An 1880s view of the “Fort at Sandy Hook” has a caption of “The ‘Fort at Sandy Hook’ was begun in 1859 but never completed. The east wall later became the foundation for Nine Gun Battery. The southwest bastion still stands and serves as a base for a watertank.” A picture of a “Twelve inch disappearing gun at Battery Richardson, 1910 includes a caption of “The ‘disappearing guns’ of Nine Gun Battery were loaded and aimed from behind the protection of massive concrete walls. When ready to fire, the gun carriage was raised. Firing of the gun caused it to recoil behind the wall, making it ‘disappear’ from the enemy’s view.” Another photo depicting a “Nike
Fort Hancock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
3. Fort Hancock Marker
missile complex on Sandy Hook, June 1959” has a caption of “Nike missiles were directed against high altitude aircraft. These missiles, along with all coastal defense installations, became obsolete with the development of ICBMs and advancing technologies in the mid 1960s.” The final picture is a “1990 aerial photograph of Sandy Hook” showing the existing fortifications and indicating the location of the marker. It has a caption of “Fortifications and concrete gun batteries once encircled much of the northern tip of Sandy Hook.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort Hancock. NY Harbor Parks website. (Submitted on September 22, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route. National Park Service website. (Submitted on September 22, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitary
 
Fort Hancock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
4. Fort Hancock Marker
Fort Hancock Battery image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
5. Fort Hancock Battery
The remains of Sandy Hook's concrete gun batteries can still be seen in Fort Hancock.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse at Fort Hancock image. Click for full size.
By Terese Hatch, August 24, 2009
6. Sandy Hook Lighthouse at Fort Hancock
Fort Hancock Canon image. Click for full size.
By Tech Sgt. Charles R. Hatch, circa 1947
7. Fort Hancock Canon
This photo was taken while Tech Sgt. Hatch was stationed at Fort Hancock from 1945 to 1947.
Fort Hancock Canon image. Click for full size.
By David W. Hatch, November 21, 2008
8. Fort Hancock Canon
This photo of the same canon was taken by Tech Sgt. Hatch's son 61 years later.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 22, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,253 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 22, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6. submitted on May 29, 2010, by Terese Hatch of Bridgewater, New Jersey.   7, 8. submitted on May 29, 2010, by David W. Hatch of Bridgewater, New Jersey.
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