WA Outing: A Day at the Fort
Friday, September 16 brought warm temps, low humidity, sunny skies, and calm seas – the perfect weather for our studio to get out and enjoy an outing at Georges Island. Our agenda for the day – WA Spirit, Architecture, Food and Fun!
When we first arrived on the island we gathered up the group and handed out our ‘2016 WA Gear’. Our new hats were the perfect accessory to combat the sunny skies and keep our crew shaded for the tour! WA Spirit – check!
It’s not just fun and games on a WA Outing day! We always like to wrap in a little local architectural history. Georges Island is home of historic Fort Warren, a Civil War-era fort known for its graceful granite archways and reputed ghost, the Lady in Black. Throughout our guided tour of the Fort, our ranger was spectacular in sharing all of the many historic tales while keeping everyone engaged. He even brought us to the ‘spookiest’ spot in the Fort to tell the tale of the Lady in Black. Architecture – check!
Then, on to lunch! The staff at Georges Island were fantastic. We were provided a beautiful location, shaded seating, plenty of games to keep us busy, and quite the spread! For the remainder of the afternoon we relaxed, ate, laughed, played and enjoyed the view! Food and Fun – check!
This day will be hard to top!
A few fun facts:
- Built with granite from Quincy and Cape Ann, Fort Warren was largely finished by 1858, but when the Civil War broke out in April 1861, there was still construction debris on the parade ground and no guns were mounted.
- Although prisoners complained about overcrowding and poor food, Fort Warren’s living conditions were far superior to Confederate prisoner-of-war camps. Under the command of Colonel Justin Dimick and his successors, Fort Warren recorded only 12 deaths among the more than 1000 prisoners confined there during the Civil War.
- The Fort was decommissioned in 1947 and acquired by the MDC for historic preservation and recreation in 1958.
- Fort Warren is a National Historic Landmark, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Bill Wilson has a relative who was imprisoned at the Fort!