Fort Macon was built as a part of the Third System of US fortifications following the War of 1812. The fort’s task was to defend the ports of Beaufort and New Bern, North Carolina, from enemy naval attacks. It was held by Confederate forces during the American Civil War until the fort came under siege by Union troops. The fort fell during the initial bombardment due to being constructed of masonry. After the Civil War ended, the fort was repaired and was occupied by US Army personnel until 1877.
In the summer of 1898, the fort was garrisoned once again for the Spanish-American War. After the war ended, the fort was garrisoned and maintained by a single ordinance sergeant until 1903. It was left abandoned until 1924 when it was given to the state of North Carolina. Fort Macon operated as a state park from 1936 until the outbreak of WWII. During WWII, the fort was used as a barracks for a Coastal Artillery unit to protect important nearby facilities.
It was returned and reinstated as a state park at the end of WWII and is still open to visitors to this day.
Fort Macon is located on the coast of North Carolina, near Atlantic Beach. The park offers free parking, park admission, and is open year round. Recently, we went and visited the park. Here are some of our pictures and notes about our trip.
When walking into the fort, the first thing you come across is a mobile cannon placed outside facing in the forts general direction.
Upon entering the fort, you are greeted with an open courtyard wth many doors that lead to rooms inside the fort. Along the wall that is facing the sea, the rooms have been converted into display areas that show items and artifacts from different eras that the fort has been through.
Here we have a store room where all of the soldiers rations were held. Right next door to it was the mess hall.
Passage ways like this ran along the inside of the fort. These areas can become pretty dark. At the ends of the fort walls were areas where the soldiers could store equipment, weapons, and ammunition.
Here is a view looking outside a room into the courtyard.
Here we have a stack of cannon balls as they would have been placed when the fort was in use.
A view of the courtyard from the second level of Fort Macon. This is one place where the fort’s cannons were placed.
This is the area that this fort protected. The view from the top of the fort was too great not to share.
Here we have a few people demonstrating a live cannon firing. The cannon was loaded with a blank charge and then fired.
After the cannon demonstration, Park Ranger Branch was very kind to take a picture with Billy the Bobble Head Ranger pin. Ranger Branch was very informative about the cannons that they have and use in the park.
What trip isn’t complete without stopping by the gift shop. Fort Macon is one of the many parks that have products made by Hogeye, Inc. and as always, when you purchase an item at one of a parks gift shops, that money is used to support the park. We are very proud to be the preferred vendor for national and state parks.
We enjoyed the experience greatly and we encourage others to make the trip out to experience the park first had.