Fort Ruckman

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Fort Ruckman (1902-1962) - An Endicott Period Coastal Fort first established in 1902 as Nahant Military Reservation (1902-1922) in Nahant, Essex County, Massachusetts. Named Fort Ruckman in G.O. 13, 1922, after Major General John Wilson Ruckman (Cullum 2979) who died 6 Jun 1921 in Brookline, Massachusetts. Post abandoned in 1962.

Battery Gardner Emplacement #2
Fire Control Tower Fort Ruckman 1A

World War I (1917-1918)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Boston, Massachusetts.

On 16 Mar 1918 $ 365,000 was allotted for the construction of the two-gun 12" long-range battery at Nahant Military Reservation which became Fort Ruckman in 1922. Operated as a sub-post of Fort Banks (2) and later went on caretaker status.

Fort Ruckman Endicott Period Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery Gardner 2 12" Casemated Barbette
Long Range
1924-1946 $ 365,000* Casemated 1944
Source: CDSG
Fort Ruckman Plan

World War II (1941-1945)

Fire Control Tower on Bailey's Hill Loc 130 Site 1A
Fire Control Tower on Bailey's Hill Loc 130 Site 1A

On 30 Jun 1940, the post was shown with only two permanent buildings, one set of NCO quarters for the caretaker and a bathhouse. The total troop capacity of the post was shown as one NCO. One year later, on 30 Jun 1941, the post is shown with a number of temporary WWII buildings including three 63 man barracks, an infirmary, a firehouse, a guardhouse and a mess hall. Capacity had increased to 10 officers, 1 NCO and 189 enlisted men.

The two 12" guns at Battery Gardner were casemated during World War II.

On 29 May 1943, a six-story square observation tower with an attached wood frame cottage was accepted for service. The observation tower was built on Bailey's Hill to support Battery Gardner, Battery McCook (2) and Battery Whipple

Cold War (1947–1991)

During the Cold War Fort Ruckman housed NIKE missile control site B-17C, Oct 1955 - Dec 1961.

Current Status

Private property and Bailey's Hill City Park, Nahant, Essex County, Massachusetts. Battery Gardner and the Fire Control Tower remain but little else remains of the post buildings. No public access to the interior of either facility.

Location: Fort Ruckman, Nahant, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.42019 Long: -70.93057


  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 409
  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Boston, Massachusetts, (HDB-AN-45), 31 Jan 1945, CDSG


Visited: 9 Jun 2012

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