Fort Adams

Fort Adams is located in Newport, Rhode Island, at the entrance to Narragansett Bay. In 1799, the military established the first Fort Adams to protect Newport from a sea attack. At the time, the fort was a simple brick star fort that used its 12 cannons to protect the Bay. When the War of 1812 began, the fort, like the rest of America’s coastal defenses, was in poor condition. Following the war, the military upgraded and expanded Fort Adams. The upgraded Fort Adams was made out of Maine granite, brick, and shale and contained defensive lines and redoubts to protect the fort from enemy fire. The military also increased the fort’s armaments to 468 cannons. Fort Adams never saw military action, though it did serve as the Naval Academy during the Civil War. In the 20th century, Fort Adams served as a training facility for men preparing to fight in World War II. In 1953, the Army transferred ownership of the fort to the United States Navy, who used the area around Fort Adams to house sailors taking part in various fleet activities. President Dwight D. Eisenhower also used the Commanding Officer’s Residence in Fort Adams as his summer White House when he vacationed in Newport between 1958 and 1960. In 1965, the Navy transferred ownership of the fort of Rhode Island. In 1976, Fort Adams was declared a National Historic Landmark.