Fort Columbia Barracks

Written by Daniel Gregory

February 28, 2012

I was continuing to workon the images from the past weekends trip down to Ilwaco, Wa. Since we were looking for the high surf and wind on this trip, it was no surprise when the rain and hail showed up often and with vigor. So when the rain got a little heavy, we took the quick drive up the Columbia River to the Fort Columbia State Park.

The park was originally built as a defense fort in 1896 as one of three forts used to defend the Columbia River. The fort is located on a little point of land that jets out into the Columbia called Chinook Point. The fort stayed active until the end of World War II when it was retired from active duty. The state of Washington took over the fort and made it into a state park in the 1950s. One of the great things about Fort Columbia is that many of the original barracks are still in working condition and some of the old gun turrets are still onsite that you can check out. However, my favorite part of these old fort parks (Washington has several Casey and Warden to name a few other) is the old concrete bunkers where they would store ammo and hide the turrets.

You are allowed to walk around in the barracks and they are an amazing piece of history and really cool places to photograph. The old metal doors, cracked walls and battered concrete just screams to be photographed. Although we only had about 30 mins on location before heading back for sunset at Cape Disappointment, I was able to get a few shots that I really liked and have put a big pin in the map to return here in the future.

On a tangentially related note, I am so thankful for the people who think about protecting places like this and turning them into parks. I am a huge fan of the parks systems no matter where I am traveling. One of my biggest hopes is that we can continue to understand the need to fund and support our park systems so that they may provide protection, education and fun for years to come.

All images were taken on a D700 with Nikon lens (14-24mm or 24-70mm f/2.8) on Lexar UDMA media and then processed in Lightroom and Nik’s HDR Efex Pro.

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