Fort Hamilton Historic District

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Fort Hamilton Historic District
LocationNewport, Rhode Island
ArchitectAnne Louis de Tousard
MPSLighthouses of Rhode Island TR
NRHP reference #01001158 [1]
Added to NRHPOctober 22, 2001

The Fort Hamilton Historic District is a historic district including all of Rose Island in Newport, Rhode Island. The district includes Rose Island Light and an early U.S. military fortification designed in part by Major Louis de Tousard. The fort was named after Alexander Hamilton.[2]


The earliest fortifications on Rose Island were built in 1780 during the American Revolutionary War around the time of the Battle of Rhode Island. Later construction took place from 1798 to 1801 but was left largely unfinished except for a long barracks building used by the U.S. Infantry. The Secretary of War's report on fortifications for December 1811 describes Fort Hamilton as "a regular unfinished work of masonry of four bastions, two of which are circular. (The fort can house) 300 men".[3] In the 19th century Fort Hamilton was used as a quarantine station for the port of Newport, and the island served as a popular picnic destination.[2] Starting in the late 19th century, the island became part of the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station, and during World War I and World War II the fort was used for munitions storage by the U.S. Navy as it conducted torpedo tests, also using facilities on nearby Goat Island and Gould Island. During World War II anti-aircraft guns were also added to the island, first Navy 5-inch guns and later Army 90 mm guns. The fort was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
  2. ^ a b William Abbatt, The Magazine of American History with notes and queries, Volume 11, (A. S. Barnes, 1884) pg. 490 [1]
  3. ^ Wade, p. 243
  • Wade, Arthur P. (2011). Artillerists and Engineers: The Beginnings of American Seacoast Fortifications, 1794-1815. CDSG Press. ISBN 978-0-9748167-2-2.

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