Fort Columbia Historical State Park
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Fort Columbia Historical State Park

visited 23 January 2022

First built around the turn of the 20th century to protect the Columbia River basin from maritime attackers, this fort now serves as a well-preserved reminder of life a century ago.

The state parks site claims this as one of the best-preserved coastal defense sites in the country.

This impressive gun never actually served battle here at Fort Columbia. The intended weapon wound up being declared obsolete before it could be installed. This one, of similar design, was brought in decades later when another US fort was decommissioned.

These ominous-looking doors guarded the bunker that was to be the seat of Washington’s state government in the event of a nuclear war in the 1960s.

From near the old theatre hall, you can see the now-decommisioned supply dock and across the river to the mountains and hazy lowlands just west of Astoria, Oregon.

There are also a few miles of hiking trails above the fort complex; I opted not to explore those on this trip.

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