Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fort Slocum

In New York on the western end of Long Island Sound lays Fort Slocum on Davids Island that is owned by the City of New Rochelle, its history starting back before the Civil War consisted of a hospital that was built for military use and also servicing confederate prisoners that were located on Hart Island, one of the smaller islands next to it.

Over the years it was used by the Army Air Force and then as the temporary home of the First Air Force, in the early 1950's it went back to Army use and soon housed a school for Chaplains and the Armed Forces Information School, from 1955 through 1960 the new Nike Ajax Air Defense system was setup, the Radar and Control Systems were on Davids Island while the underground missile silos were installed on Hart Island.
The Chaplain school was moved to nearby Fort Hamilton in 1962 followed by the closing and transfer of the information school in 1965 to Fort Ben Harrison Indiana this was followed by the military totally abandoning the island after more then a century of operations, in the years following overgrowth, vandalism and fire damaged most of the building.

Unfortunately the City of New Rochelle officially condemned the island and everything was totally demolished in late 2008.

I would like to thank Michael Cavanaugh of the Fort Slocum web list and Alumni Association for contacting me and giving an update of the saddened news of Fort Slocum, his website has a more in depth history with photos of this great place and I would recommend anyone who may be interested to stop by and visit.

This photograph was taken with 35mm film at Glen Island in New Rochelle around 1980.

For you urban explorers a YouTube flick was released of some people exploring Davids Island, taken in 2003 it's about 10 minutes long, be advised some language written as graffiti may not be suitable for young viewers.


Anonymous said...

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Richard Rizzo said...

Thank you Ruth for your kind words of encouragement I truly appreciate that. :)

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Westchester. Fort Slocum was a great, intriguing part of history. My father reported there for the Army shortly after the Korean War. It's a shame it was torn down, primarily for upscale development. Nice to capture a piece of it.

Richard Rizzo said...

Thank you, I was always fascinated with it myself when I was living in NR, it was easily seen from Davenport park and Glen Island from what I remember. I was saddened by the news of it being torn down a few years back.