Fort Baker (1)

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Fort Baker (1) (1867-1998) - Originally established as Lime Point Military Reservation in 1867, Marin County, California. Renamed in G.O. 25, 29 Apr 1897, for Colonel Edward D. Baker an ex‑Senator from California who was killed 21 Oct 1861 at the Battle of Ball's Bluff, Virginia, during the U.S. Civil War. Also known as Lime Point Fort.

Fort Baker Barracks Row
Fort Baker Commanding Officer's Quarters
Fort Baker Aerial View

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Established in 1897 to guard the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Original Gun Batteries were Point Bonita, Point Diablo, Gravelly Beach, Lime Point Ridge, Cavallo, and Point Cavallo.

In 1890 plans were developed by a Board of Engineers for a series of eight Modern Endicott Period batteries on the north shore of the Golden Gate Strait, guarding the entrance to San Francisco Harbor. The Lime Point Military Reservation was renamed Fort Baker in 1897 and construction on the new batteries and the Fort infrastructure begun. Construction of permanent buildings began in 1901 with essential structures and by 1942 there were 159 buildings. Construction of the original planned eight gun batteries was complete by 1905. In 1904 the post was split into two forts, Fort Baker and Fort Barry. The dividing line between them was a North-South line originating at Point Diablo. The batteries that remained on Fort Baker are listed below.

Fort Baker (1) Endicott Period Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery Ridge 4 15" Rodman 1890-1909 $ ? Smoothbore
Battery Spencer 3 12" Barbette 1893-1897-1897-1943 $ 110,353 1 Gun removed 1919
Battery Kirby 2 12" Disappearing Carriage 1899-1900-1900-1941 $ 70,334 1 Gun removed 1933
Battery Cavallo 3 8" Rodman 1872-1876-1900-1910 $ 170,504 Converted Rodman cannons
Battery Duncan 2 8" Barbette 1898-1899-1900-1917 $ 57,535
Battery Wagner (2) 2 5" Balanced Pedestal 1899-1901-1901-1917 $ 25,000
Battery Yates 6 3" Pedestal 1903-1903-1905-1943 $ 41,407
Source: CDSG
Fort Baker Plan 1916

World War I (1917-1918)

At the beginning of American involvement in World War I the guns of Battery Duncan and Battery Wagner (1) were removed for potential service overseas. After the war, one gun was removed from Battery Spencer and the post became inactive.

World War II (1941-1945)

Fort Baker Mine Casemates

In the buildup to World War II, Fort Baker was reactivated as a mine depot. Over three hundred underwater mines guarded the Golden Gate during World War II, tended by the Army’s “navy” of mine vessels berthed at Fort Baker.

Two gun batteries were build at Gravelly Beach to provide an anti-aircraft and anti-motor torpedo boat (AMTB) capability for the post and the remaining operational batteries. By 1945, only Battery AMTB - Gravelly Beach, Battery Yates and two 40mm guns were active, all for AMTB defense.

A large mobilization hospital was constructed starting in 1941 to supplement Letterman Hospital at the Presidio of San Francisco. The hospital grew from an initial twenty-five temporary WWII buildings to forty-five buildings by the end of the war. The hospital complex was located on filled in marsh land above Horseshoe Cove.

Fort Baker (1) World War II Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery Kirby Beach 2 3" Pedestal 1942-1942-1943-1943 $ 956 Guns from Battery Yates
Battery AMTB - Gravelly Beach 2 90mm Pedestal 1943-1943-1943-1946 $ 4,908 Partially buried
Source: CDSG

Cold War (1947-1991)

Fort Baker Support Area

After the war, Fort Baker became a sub-post of Fort Winfield Scott and later of the Presidio of San Francisco in 1950. Later, it was used to train Army Reserve troops and as a Headquarters for Nike missile units in the bay area.

Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. Fort Baker is within the boundary of Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service has signed a 60‑year lease for conversion of Fort Baker into a bayside lodge and retreat.

Location: North side of the Golden Gate Bridge on Lime Point, California.

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.836513 Long: -122.479019

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 581'

See Also:



Visited: 19 Aug 2009

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