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The ruins of Fort Montgomery. Photo taken by the author, 2004. Inset: Demolition of the fort is underway in this photo provided courtesy of the Clinton County Historical Association. In the photo second tier casemate floors remain, as does the whole of curtain IV to the north. The gorge had each floor section removed. All of curtain IV and V of the fort were demolished. Virtually nothing remains of these sections.

  Following Fort Blunder...

Fort Montgomery
Rouses Point, New York

-Part VIb-
A tour of the ruins of the storied fortification

By James P. Millard

North through the gorge officer's quarters

After inspecting the area around the entrance, or postern, we continued our exploration through the remains of the gorge. Here were located quarters for the Officers, storage rooms, kitchens and the like. Soldier's barracks, planned to abut curtains I and II were never completed. Having seen the original plans for this section, we were amazed at the utter devastation we witnessed. The contractors had succeeded in removing each floor, leaving only the arches and great curved ceilings. Incredibly, some of the plaster still clung to the ceilings. We could clearly see the supports for the floors, and the great brick fireplaces stood out forlornly along each north/south section. I couldn't help but wonder if any had ever held a fire to ease the chill from the bitter winds that blow over the water.

Left: top, View within the gorge showing entrances from one section to another. There was a masonry floor separating these openings, it was removed by the contractors during the demolition of the fort in 1936-1937. Bottom, one of the many fireplaces that remain.
Click on the thumbnails to see a full-size image.

Soon, we were close to the section where the northwestern bastion was located. Deep within this section was located a magazine- it remains, but beyond this point the destruction becomes complete. We walked into the magazine, marveling at how every scrap of the fine wooden interior wall and its supports was gone. We looked out over what used to be the moat from within the remains of a room close to the magazine. All along this gorge wall were located musket loopholes facing the massive cover-face across the moat.

Above: left, view within the gorge looking north. Right, view towards moat from within a room inside the gorge. Note the rifle embrasure and the supports for the floor. Click on the thumbnails to see a full-size image.

Note: the photos of Fort Montgomery ruins were taken during an escorted tour courtesy of the property owners. A liability waiver was required and we toured the ruins at our own risk.
Trespassing on the property is strictly forbidden.

Images of the northern-most section of the gorge

Clockwise from top left: View along the last remaining section of the gorge. Another view along the same section. One of the embrasures protecting against attack from the northwest. This embrasure would have housed a 24-pounder flank howitzer. View across the parade to the northwest section of the gorge Collapsed section of fort. Roger Harwood took this photo of what remains of one of the fort's spectacular spiral staircases. Another view from the parade. Two photos from within the Bastion D magazine. View of the junction of the gorge and Bastion D. The entire northern front has been removed.

Finally, after spending some time investigating the first of the powder magazines we were to encounter, we crossed the parade to Bastion C along the lake. Nothing remains of the entire north and eastern fronts.

Continued here...
Click here to go back to Part VIa  Click here to return to Part I  Click here to continue on to Part VIc

- Part VIc-
A Tour of the Ruins

Note: Fort Montgomery is privately-owned.
The Fort grounds are posted and trespassing is strictly prohibited.
Please do not trespass on the ruins of the fort.


The author is grateful to the Clinton County Historical Association, Powertex, Inc., Feinberg Library and the late Ralph Gilpin for permission to publish images from their collections.

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