Fort Miles Then and Now

Our last adventure for this Delaware visit with the Morgans includes a quick drive through Cape Henlopen State Park.   This 5193 acre park features a campground, biking trails, Historic Fort Miles, 6 miles of beach, disc golf, an extensive list of fascinating events and a World War II Observation Tower combining a multitude of attractions into a coastal playground for all ages.  Many of the park’s services are limited or closed this late in the season which is just as well as we only have a couple of hours and wind up storming through Historic Fort Miles like advancing troops with our objective in sight.  This area definitely deserves a more thorough visit than we can spare today.  We hope to one day return and sign up for the Battery 519 Lantern Tour which I have been told is historically enlightening and very exciting (think darkness and loud gun reports). 

What is remarkable about our visit is that Storm’s father served at Fort Miles as a plotter on a 16 inch gun during WW II and Storm has clear recollections of his father’s photos and stories from his posting here.  As we circled the guns, we tried to imagine Sgt. West here “back in the day.”  After we toured the fort, I returned to Barbara’s (Storm’s sister) house to ransack her closets and bookshelves for pictures of Fort Miles and Storm’s dad “back then.”  I was determined to ferret out the picture that Storm remembered of his very skinny young dad in a 16″ gun with his head protruding from the barrel end and a big ole grin plastered across his face after he inspected the barrel bore (never found the picture…darn!).  After an exhaustive search of Barbara’s office I unearthed 3 albums of wonderful photos of WW II Fort Miles taken by a photographer with a great eye for the story, the best of which are shared in the video and photo gallery below. 

The big gun in my video below was actually moved to Fort Miles from the USS Missouri and yes, before you ask, they really do have artillery demonstrations at Fort Miles (check out the holiday event schedules there), but the part about Cape May is purely fantasy on my part 🙂

Photos from the Lost (and recently found) Albums and from our visit to Cape Henlopen

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About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

9 Replies to “Fort Miles Then and Now”

  1. The use of those old photos is so cool! I’m sure they would love copies for the fort restoration and displays.
    Loving your website!

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      I was so thrilled to actually find these pictures. I showed them to Barbara’s son who has worked with Fort Miles folks and the boy scouts. I am hoping maybe he will get them copies as he was also sure they would love to have them. Thank you!

      1. Those hidden little photo albums were awesome. I had no idea they existed. I’m going to call fort miles and set up taking them and mom over there. Nice article about your adventure too!

        1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

          Thanks, Kevin. Let me know what the folks at Fort Miles say when you show them the books. I agree with you, I bet they will be thrilled!

    2. PS – thanks for the photobomb – you guys are the best!!

  2. Another outstanding job, makes us want to go there. Thanks for the tour you guys are the best PR folks for these parks, they should pay you for your blog. ;>))) Take care. GOD BLESS

    Jim & Sandy

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      You and Sandy should definitely add this one to the “list.” During the summer they have so many activities it is amazing. Kevin, Charlie’s nephew raved about the Lantern Tour – so be sure to make reservations for that!

  3. Beautiful! Good job, Deb.

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thank you Barbara!

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