Fort Pickens

Earlier this month (January 2020) Annette and I were fortunate enough to camp in the Fort Pickens Area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. There are islands in this National Seashore that are in Florida and in Alabama. The Fort Pickens Area is in Pensacola Beach, FL.

Annette was concerned because on the webpage where we reserved our site there was a note that indicated that campers should call the park on the day of their arrival to check on the status of the road into the park. Flooding and washouts of the road are possible! But we made it just fine.

BUT! While we were there, there was a storm predicted on all of the weather outlets. A couple that we met there actually left the day of the storm because they were worried. But, again, we were just fine.

We toured Fort Pickens with a guide who was entertaining and educational. It probably didn’t hurt that, by the end, we were his only 2 tourers! 

One of the interesting points the tour guide told was that the men, who manned the large cannons within the fort, would go deaf from the cannon’s report. In fact, he said that many of them actually bled from their ears during battles where the cannons were fired!

Annette and I took the tour and listened to the information without the distractions of our cameras. The next day we came back, with our cameras, and took pictures undistracted by any tour guide spiel.

Here are some pictures:

You will notice in all of these pictures that arches played an important part in the design of the fort.  Nearly every room had some sort of arch.


This is a view through what was described to us as the Officer’s Quarters.  It’s hard to believe that they would place the officers in the rooms adjacent to the cannons.  Maybe the officers were there to ensure that no one had unfettered access to the cannons and could sabotage them???


The door in this picture led into the gun powder storage room.


This is the same door, except we are looking out from inside of the gun powder storage room.


I found the pattern of bricks on the ceiling of the gun powder storage room interesting.  I tried to imagine what the builders had to do to get these bricks to form an arch that could support itself and any structure or ballast above it.





These four images are from different points in the fort.  You can see how patterns are repeated.  (Hey!  If you finds something that works, keep it going!)

I’d love to know what you think about Fort Pickens and this blog.  Email me at


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