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Wandering Fort Stevens, N. Oregon Coast's Equivalent to Castle Ruins

Updated 10/31/20 at 10:41 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Wandering Fort Stevens, N. Oregon Coast's Equivalent to Castle Ruins

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(Astoria, Oregon) - Near the very northwestern edge of Oregon, close to Astoria, Fort Stevens is a very real remnant of the Civil War Days, where this battlement was one of a handful that guarded the Mouth of the Columbia River from approaching enemies. Starting with the worry of rebel forces from the South, its concrete bulkiness eventually stood watch for Japanese and German invaders in the 1940’s as well.

Now, like some sort of castle ruin, Fort Stevens sits silent, with great holes where massive guns were once in place, pointed out towards the sea.

This section of the fort, called Battery Russell, is the only one open to the public year round. There are loads of mysterious and serious-looking parts to this structure, such as this ladder pictured below.


Various concrete rooms lay beneath this behemoth, hinting at their original purpose with faded signs like “officer’s quarters” or “latrines.” Some of the spooky rooms have no signs at all.

As if to add to the castle ruins vibe of it all, there are a couple of stone spiral staircases that wind up and down between floors. They are decidedly Gothic now in their advanced years, appearing to decay just slightly with the stains of time on the walls and floors.


The north Oregon coast attraction’s interior rooms get so dark, even in broad daylight, that they feel haunted. Sometimes odd reflections bounce through the air and light up dust in the air in the dark places, and for a split second you think you see an apparition. Or you go from really dark to pitch black while meandering through, and you suddenly feel the oppressive weight of no light around you, firing up your imagination and causing the hairs on your neck and arms to go wild.

The place is a thrill ride-like attraction unique to the entire coastline.


Fort Stevens holds the distinction of being one of the very few places in the continental U.S. actually attacked by foreign forces during World War II. One night in the early ‘40s, a Japanese sub fired upon this section of the north Oregon coast, not actually knowing what was there. The captain of the sub later admitted he wouldn’t have done so had he known the firepower of the fortress near his volleys. A few large shells left a crater or two, and one even landed near the Wreck of the Peter Iredale, almost destroying it. More to History of Oregon Coast's Peter Iredale Than Just a Shipwreck 

Fort Stevens did not fire back. Where a Japanese Sub Fired on Oregon: Battery Russell and Fort Stevens

Fort Stevens State Park is in Warrenton / Hammond, just south of Astoria. It includes a massive campground. Hotels in Astoria/Seaside - Where to eat - Astoria Maps and Virtual Tours




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