June 19, 2013

Fort Point at the Golden Gate

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Long before the entrance to San Francisco Bay was known as the "Golden Gate", and long before the United States bullied its way to victory in the Mexican-American war, Spain had established a defensive position, Castillo de San Joaquin at this strategic spot between bay and sea.

Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, gaining control of the region and the fort, but in 1835 the Mexican army moved to Sonoma leaving the castillo's adobe walls to crumble in the wind and rain. In 1848 U.S. forces, including Captain John Charles Fremont, Kit Carson and a band of 10 rag-tag followers fearlessly "captured" the empty castillo and disabled the cannons.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Following the United States' victory in 1848, California was annexed by the U.S. and became a state in 1850. Of course, the Gold Rush of 1849 caused rapid settlement of this area. Military officials soon recommended a series of fortifications to secure San Francisco Bay.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

In the mid-1930's some designs for the Golden Gate Bridge called for Fort Point to be demolished, but a plan was worked out where this bit of history could be preserved under a massive arch on the south end of the bridge.

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John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

Thanks for history lesson. I like the Twilight Zone shot.

AphotoAday said...

Thanks Sinbad's Dad (John) -- oh, one day I got a note from a L.A. Times writer who classified my "writing" as "cut and paste journalism", but yeah, between the information boards where I visit and Wikipedia, it is pretty easy--although I TRY to rely on those sources for my facts, and not just rampantly copy and paste. I usually try to throw in a few of my own "delusions" just for fun.

Anonymous said...

man i loved my visit here!

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