Fort Jefferson: Largest Fort in the Western Hemisphere

Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson

Fun Facts About Fort Jefferson


  • Fort Jefferson is the largest brick fort in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Fort Jefferson is made up of over 16 million bricks.
  • Construction of Fort Jefferson lasted over 30 years, and it was never officially finished.
  • In 1874 all work on Fort Jefferson stopped, the people left, and the fort was officially abandoned.
  • No shots were ever fired from Fort Jefferson.
  • Fort Jefferson’s walls are 45 feet tall and 8 feet thick.
  • The soldiers’ barracks at Fort Jefferson were designed to house 1,000 men, and were more than a football field in length. A fire destroyed the barracks in 1912.

  • There were originally 420 heavy guns on Fort Jefferson, and they were some of the largest and most advanced weapons of their age.
  • Fort Jefferson was designed to store gunpowder in 37 different magazines, all spread out throughout the Fort to make the powder more accessible.
  • Both red and yellow bricks make up Fort Jefferson. The yellow bricks were placed before the civil war and were from Pensacola, Florida. The red bricks were shipped to the island from the North during the civil war.
  • The bricks used in Fort Jefferson were from Florida and the North, the wood used was shipped from Louisiana, and the nails used were brought from Pennsylvania.
  • J.N.O. Nolan, a master bricklayer who helped build Fort Jefferson, etched his name in several places throughout the fort. Visitors keep an eye out for his carvings.
  • The fort was established as a national monument on January 4th, 1935.

Special thanks to www.yankeefreedom.com

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