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Archive for the 'Trip Report' Category

Marin Headlands – Tennessee Point

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

The view southward from Tennessee Point (a stitched panorama). After a pleasant day lawn bowling at the venerable SFLBC in Golden Gate Park, Claudia and I made our way out to the Marin Headlands through bumper-to-bumper Labor Day traffic. We were welcomed by a fantastic afternoon – hardly a trace of fog and a gentle […]

Antiaircraft defenses on Wolf Ridge

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Wolf Ridge, a rugged spine of coastal grassland and low chaparral, is the divide between the Rodeo and Tennessee Valleys in the Marin Headlands. In the years leading to World War II the “1937 Project for the Harbor Defenses of San Francisco” led to the formation of Fort Cronkhite and the construction of Battery Townsley […]

Batteries Smith-Guthrie & O’Rorke

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

On an overcast Sunday afternoon Claudia and I headed out to the Marin Headlands for the Headland Center for the Arts Summer Open House (always fun.) After touring the studios and a tasty lunch in the HCA galley we headed out to take some photographs. We elected to visit Batteries Smith-Guthrie and O’Rorke, Endicott-era gun […]

Marin Headlands – Fort Barry

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Before 1900, San Francisco’s coastal defenses were concentrated abreast, and just inside, the current day location of the Golden Gate Bridge, which spans from Fort Point to Lime Point. This is the narrowest part of the Golden Gate Straight. As the Endicott period defenses arrived in the late 1890s, breech-loading, rifled guns enhanced the accuracy […]

Marin Headlands – Battery Wallace

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Generally speaking the defense works at the Golden Gate had relatively short working lives. As new naval capacities were developed, shore batteries became obsolete or were reformulated to make them both survivable and effective. Located inland from Battery Mendell, Battery Wallace started out as a late Endicott Period open air gun emplacement. It was completed […]

Marin Headlands – Three Sisters

Monday, April 28th, 2014

As the 20th Century began Fort Barry underwent quite a build out with construction of troop barracks, officer’s quarters, command posts, and supporting facilities for the Marin Headland’s Endicott era gun batteries. Fast forward a hundred years and these buildings are now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Three Sisters, with the […]

Point Bonita hilltop

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Pt. Bonita stands guard on the northern flank of the Golden Gate Straight. For well over a century lighthouse keepers, military spotters, rescue crews, and navigation aids have occupied these dramatic ocean bluffs. At the high point along the cliffs, between the Pt. Bonita Lighthouse and Battery Mendell, the hilltop has been scraped flat and […]

Hill 640 Military Reservation

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Hill 640 fire control stations with Stinson Beach in the distance. As coastal artillery guns became larger, and their range increased, growing demands were placed on the fire control systems that targeted potential naval targets. By World War II the 16” guns of Battery Townsley and Battery Davis could fire a projectile 25 miles to […]

Gun #386 arrives at Battery Townsley

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

The 16″ gun being moved to its cradle adjacent to Battery Townsley, and the serpentine path it took to get there.(stitched panorama) On October 1, 2012 I spent an interesting day out at the Marin Headlands watching the ingenious riggers of the Bigge Crane & Rigging Company move a 16” gun up the hill to […]

Battery Townsley

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

In the late 1930s, with war already underway in Spain and China, global tensions were building steadily. In the United States, strategists called for a modernization of our long neglected coastal defenses and by 1937 projects of this sort were underway in several Bay Area locations. A view over Battery Townsley’s southern gun emplacement toward […]