Walk through Fort Stevens State Park and you are literally walking back in time.
Cannons, massive cement artillery batteries and breathtaking sights are impossible to ignore throughout the massive park, which takes up more than 4,000 square feet. Personality brims at each inch of the park, as much of the Oregon Coast’s military history lies within the park’s boundaries.
The park takes its visitors back to the early 1860s, when Fort Stevens first became active. The fort was used as a military base starting in the Civil War, and kept active through World War II.
In 1942, Fort Stevens became home to the only World War II attack on a mainland U.S. military base. The Japanese submarine I-25 fired at Fort Stevens around midnight on June 21, more than half a year before the country would later bomb Pearl Harbor.
The attack on Fort Stevens that June night proved unsuccessful, as Fort Stevens soldiers didn’t fire back. The fort and the Oregon Coast were left safe until air raids in September 1942 focused in on Brookings.
While Fort Stevens hasn’t been used as an active military base since World War II ended, its impact on Oregon’s coastal community has withstood the decades since the war. Most of the fort is available for visitors to see and learn, alongside the views that draw thousands of visitors to the coast annually.
In addition to the park’s military bases, visitors can enjoy beaches, the Wreck of the Peter Iredale, camping and hiking options. The park is open to visitors and campers year-round.