Gary B. Speck




Fort Jefferson is a majestic class C military post and a National Monument located on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas Islands, at the far western tip of the Florida Keys, 70 miles west of Key West. It is only accessible by boat or seaplane from Key West.


This historic post was the largest of the coastal defense forts on the east coast. Construction of the massive hexagonal brick fort began in 1846, and it almost covers the entire island. It was designed to garrison 1500 soldiers and its 50' high walls had three levels of firing platforms that would hold 450 cannons.


In January 1861, the as yet uncompleted and unarmed fort was occupied by armed Union troops to keep the fort from falling into Rebel hands. In 1865, after the war ended, the fort was not needed, so it was turned into a prison, housing a total of 2400 inmates. It was abandoned after an 1874 hurricane damaged it.




        Latitude: 24.6290412 / 24 37 45 N

        Longitude: -82.8731758 / 82 52 23 W 


This was our GHOST TOWN OF THE MONTH for May 2005.




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FIRST POSTED: May 05, 2005

LAST UPDATED: February 01, 2010





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