SELECT PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1972 DISCOVEREDWhen you are poking around in America's attic, it's amazing what sometimes just drops into your lap. It's only been around since 1863 when it was known as Fort Whipple - though the constant on Fort Myer is change. It began as one of then nearly 70 forts during the US Civil War as part of the Defenses of Washington. Unlike the other forts, it is the only remaining and still doing what it was designed to do - Defend the Capital City! The map above shows what is in the present time. At one point in the post's history it was referred to as "North Post" since in the 1940s up until the mid 1970s there was a "South Post" Fort Myer that was originally established to provide housing for the WACS and Soldiers who worked in the Pentagon and other agencies in downtown Washington DC. It also provided housing for the women who also worked downtown. By the 1980s, South Post was a faint memory. It's barracks and other buildings - PX, HQs, Chapel, Gymnasium, Pool and more were gone. Its acres became part of Arlington National Cemetery as the cemetery needed to expand. Explore and enjoy this 1972 tour of Fort Myer. What follows below are some historic and 1972 era photos found while doing further research... The photo above shows when the post primarily consisted of wooden buildings. The building in center of the photo is the post hospital and access to it was via the bridge seen in the foreground. The bridge is long gone as are the other buildings in the photo. Around the turn of the 19th century, a concerted building project resulted in a new set of buildings primarily constructed of brick. In the above photograph, the view down Grant Avenue looking to the North shows some of the "Generals Row" homes. Quarters One, home to the Chief of Staff of the US Army is at the end of this street. To the right side of the photograph would be Whipple Field where the original Fort Whipple stood during the US Civil War. Building #246, back in 1972 was headquarters of the 3d Infantry - "The Old Guard" The regiment would eventually relocate from this building and it would become barracks for one of the operating companies of the regiment. This building was a puzzle when first found, but upon further research it was learned that this was Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ) that was placed nearby to Wainwright Hall on Fort Myer.
BUY THE BOOKIf you've enjoyed this small glimpse of Fort Myer, then perhaps you should BUY THE BOOK. An author autographed copy is available here on this website. Coming next A 1972 Tour of Fort Myer - Part II
Historic Tour of the Defenses of Washington DCOne never knows what one will find if you rummage around the United States' attic... Driving around the "DMV" - District, Maryland & Virginia - one will often see signs of the US Civil War - National Park Service signs that announce a fort such as Fort Davis or Fort Foote or Fort Totten with little but a few earthworks mounds to see and hardly any sign of what was there over 150 years ago. Yet by the end of the war, there would be 68 forts along with some 90 artillery batteries that would be the defense of the perimeter of the Capital City of Washington DC. Major General John G. Barnard was the engineer who designed most of these fortifications. He is often called the "Father of the Defenses of Washington DC". Today, only a few of those fortifications and artillery batteries still exist in more than just those signs and mounds of earth - Fort Stevens in Washington DC and Fort Ward in Alexandria, Virginia are two that have been conserved in entirety or partially to show part of the Defenses of Washington DC.
National Park Service Presents a TourIt was 1938, the 75th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg during the US Civil War. It was when the Civil War was something fresh in the minds of the people who experienced it, the National Park Service provided a tour of "the Defenses of Washington DC" From that tour here is a twenty page booklet that was provided to those who took the tour. (Be patient - the book may take a bit to load) "Images of America - Fort Myer" contains over 200 historical photographs. They were selected from new research among the archives of America. An autographed / personalized copy is available. Order yours TODAY!
FORT ROBINSON -
GATEWAY TO THE WESTIt was in 1847 as America continued to push west. The US Army established Posts on the frontier and Fort Robinson, Nebraska was one. This post would have a very interesting life over the next several decades as a home for the US Cavalry including the famed Buffalo Soldiers. It then would become in the 20th century the largest of all the remount depots of the US Army's Remount Service. The thousands of acres - about 22,000 began as Camp Robinson named after Lieutenant Levi Robinson. He was killed in February 1874 by a band of Indians who attacked the lieutenant and a Corporal while they were on a side trip hunting game. The US Army Post later became the largest remount depot for the US Army Remount Service after the depot at Fort Keogh was closed
Wright Flyer at Fort MyerIt was late July 1909. The Wright Flyer had flown from Fort Myer Virginia to the edges of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and back. The US Army Signal Corps' Officers were pleased that the speed results exceeded the 40 MPH threshold. With the return of the Wright Brothers entry in response to their request for a heavier than air flying machine, the Army had a viable aircraft. It was now up to the Wright brothers to provide the training. But where? The small number of acres at Fort Myer were too confining. Besides, the public interest guaranteed that there was always a crowd of people ready to watch this new form of transportation when they held the trials at Fort Myer. The US Army still used gas filled balloons then. LT Frank Lahm on a regular observation flight discovered a flat parcel of land some 10 to 12 miles to the Northeast. It was near the Baltimore and Ohio railroad tracks, which later would serve as competition for the air-land races that these new aviators would compete. So the US Army leased the land in August of 1909 and a new chapter... perhaps books of transportation began. It was here that the Wright brothers trained the first pilots: Frederic Humphreys and Frank Lahm. It would also be here that many familiar aviation companies began - among them Curtiss-Wright. The War Department established the first military aviation school with Lieutenant Henry H. Arnold as one of the instructors. The airplane saw its first use in warfare in WWI as the US Army Air Corps was established in 1926 - they renamed the US Army Air Service. Arnold would later go on to lead the new United States Army Air Forces in 1942 which became the United States Air Force in 1947. It would be at College Park, where civilian aviation began with the Rex Smith Aeroplane Company. Later another first, the building of the first aircraft by the Christmas Aeroplane Company in 1911. A year later, the company would deliver it's next model craft to respond to the contract to deliver mail by air for the US Postal Service. In 1918, the first regular airmail delivery between College Park and both Philadelphia and New York City began lasting until 1921. As more and more applications of aviation were discovered and used, the industry grew as did the number of airports across the United States and around the world. Though College Park, Maryland still holds the distinction of being the first. The saga continues at the airport and the adjacent College Park Aviation Museum which is worth the visit to see some of this history up close and personal. The book, "Images of America - Fort Myer" holds a treasure of over 200 "timeless photographs" that deliver the first 100 years of this US Army Post.
Happy Birthday Fort Myer!
PS ... You too can own an autographed copy of the book "Images of America - Fort Myer" ... The First Book About this Historic US Army Post. It contains over 200 "timeless historic photographs" which chronicle the first 100 years of the Post.
"Images of America: Fort Myer pays tribute to those who served there... the images reveal the changing history of a national landmark affected by world events, advancing technology and evolving demands."A telephone call announced the news. It was a surprise to hear the words that a review of the book was in the April 2013 issue of this respected publication. It is truly an honor to have the book featured in this great magazine of the Association of the US Army. The entire review is located on the AUSA website or on pages 76-77 in the magazine. With over 200 historical photographs, the book chronicles the first one hundred years of this Civil War era fortification. Then it was known as Fort Whipple - one of the Defenses of Washington. Named for General Amiel Weeks Whipple. The book - the FIRST BOOK about Fort Myer - also contains a previously unknown, handwritten note from Abraham Lincoln. It's published for the FIRST TIME on page 15 of "Images of America - Fort Myer." Purchase an author autographed copy at Buy the Book <====