Historical Fort Mckinley and Great Diamond Island
Fort McKinley was constructed as part of the Coast Artillery, the national coastal defense system. Construction began on this Endicott Period fortification in 1890 and the large gun batteries were completed in 1897, while the rest of the fort was completed in 1910. The fort was manned during the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1917-1918), and World War II (1941-1945).
In 1902, the fort was officially named after President William McKinley.
In between wartimes, the 5th Infantry Regiment and the Citizen's Military Training Camp (CMTC) were stationed on the island. The CMTC operated in the summer and allowed young boys to experience military life.
During WWII, the U.S. Navy built a Naval Training Center on the north fork of the island.
At its height, the Fort comprised 800 to 1000 personnel, housed both in barracks in the Fort as well some some billeted in private cottages on the other side of the island.
The Fort was abandoned by the U.S. Army in 1947 and later passed to the U.S. Navy in 1954. The Navy sold the property to private owners in 1961. After falling to disrepair, the property was purchased in 1984 to be restored and many of the buildings converted to private residences.
Fort McKinley and Diamond Cove is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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