Jamestown in Newport County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
Harbor Mine (Torpedo) Complex
The Harbor Mine or Torpedo Complex was constructed during the period of 1908 to 1911 as part of a comprehensive harbor defense system for Narragansett Bay. The two-story concrete structure served as a Mine Storage Warehouse in which the parts required for the assembly of the mines (or torpedoes as they were also called) were stored. This building and the two adjacent one-story structures were equipped with overhead rail cranes capable of lifting and moving heavy parts and subassemblies to tram carts that would transport these components along a narrow-gauge rail system for assembly, insertion of explosives and testing in the nearby buildings before they could be anchored in the waters of the bay.
The second structure, a one-story Cable Tank Building, contained four oblong water tanks made of concrete in which reels of insulated submarine cables were immersed and preserved until needed. These cables eventually connected the mines to a small onshore facility, called a Mine Casemate (one is located the the rear of the warehouse), from where the mines in the waters of the Bay could be detonated. Each of the four tanks could hold 20,000 feet of reeled cable.
All necessary components and cables were moved to the Loading Room, the one-story building at the western end of the Mine Complex, where the mines (torpedoes) were assembled and
By Bryan Simmons, June 2012
1. Harbor Mine (Torpedo) Complex Marker
tested following the addition of the required explosive charges. To facilitate this operation, the overhead crane lowered the mines into circular pits in the floor, allowing mechanics to prepare the mines for movement to the pier via narrow-gauge rail carts, and from there to designated areas of the bay by an Army Mine Planter. Clusters of 19 mines were then lowered into the bay and connected to a land-based mine casemate from where specific groupings could be detonated on command.
By Bryan Simmons, June 2012
2. Harbor Mine (Torpedo) Complex
You can still see the rail tracks in the ground
Location. 41° 28.726′ N, 71° 21.463′ W. Marker is in Jamestown, Rhode Island, in Newport County. Marker can be reached from Fort Wetherill Road. Touch for map. Marker is in front of second building on the left at the end of the road. Marker is in this post office area: Jamestown RI 02835, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. History of the Dumplings (a few steps from this marker); Fort Wetherill (a few steps from this marker); U.S.S. Bennington CVA-20 (approx. ¾ mile away); John Adams (approx. 0.8 miles away); Southwest Battery (approx. one mile away); Between the Wars (approx. one mile away); Changing Role of the Fort (approx. one mile away); Three Tiers of Firepower (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jamestown.
Also see . . . History of Fort Wetherill and the Mine Complex. (Submitted on June 22, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts.)
Categories. • War, World I • War, World II • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 552 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 22, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.