Fort Mifflin Photowalk
Commissioned in 1771 on Mud Island with the principle architect being Pierre Charles L’enfant. Originally called Fort Island Battery until the fort was taken over by Colonial forces during the Revolutionary war. 400 colonial soldiers manned the fort with one directive – delay General William Howe and his fleet for as long as humanly possible giving General Washington and his troops breathing space. There was no expectation that the men at the fort were going to defeat Howe – just slow him down. In the end, the fort was massively outgunned by the British fleet and was subsequently recaptured by British forces.
A British officer was said to have remarked, “the behavior of the enemy…did them honor, nor did they quit the place ‘till their defenses were ruined, and the works rendered to rubbish, setting the works in a blaze when they could defend it no longer.”
Due to the brave actions of the colonials at Fort Mifflin, General Washington was able to get his forces to Valley Forge for the winter.
Ft Mifflin remained an active military site till the 1960′s. Today it is a fascinating tourist attraction that has garnered attention as being historical and haunted. Ghost stories abound on this site. I would have liked to have known that before I began exploring the dark casement with only the light of my iPhone flashlight. In truth, when I went to explore a large casement, I simply stopped at the doorway and did not enter. There was an inky darkness in this room and the light from my iPhone barely illuminated the back wall. I had a queasy thought that if I had stepped into the room the door would close, trapping me in the darkness. Turns out it was one of the most haunted casements in Fort Mifflin. I still get chills thinking back to that dark casement.
Interesting yellow coloration of the brick buildings of Ft. Mifflin. These buildings contained the living quarters of the soldiers stationed at the fort. You can can walk around the defense perimeter and look down at the buildings that comprise the fort.
I can barely make out this marker, but it looks like John Adams visited the fort. Not sure when or why at this point. I’ll have to do more research on the history of Ft. Mifflin to find out the reason for this plaque.
Surprisingly, the prices for blacksmith tools seems to have evaded inflation over the centuries.
The fort affords great views and photo opportunities of the Delaware River. This decaying pier was a delight to discover and photograph. It conjures up all kinds of questions about who may have used this pier over the course of centuries. Also, is it haunted? It sure looks like it might be. No, I had no interest in scaling the fence and walking around the pier.
If you find yourself in Philadelphia looking for something to do; Fort Mifflin is a great destination to spend an hour or two and gain some new insights into the actions of the Revolutionary War. All photos were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T1i with a 50mm f1/4 lens.
View all my photos from Fort Mifflin in this slideshow from Flickr.