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Location DB > United States > California > Marin County > Fort Cronkhite
Fort Cronkhite
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 Database Info
created by /-/ooligan on 8/8/2007 3:47 AM
last modified by /-/ooligan on 9/5/2009 10:17 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
A very nice beach to lounge on after a full day of hiking the hills discovering old military remains. Bathrooms & drinking fountains located at the main parking lot, but otherwise, nothing...
 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Many structures intact, site now a National Park
Accessibility: Hill hiking is required to visit most remains
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information

Marin County, California
United States
Owner: National Park Service - Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • asbestos
  • rust
  • steep bluffs along the coast
  •  Interesting Features
    Small, nearly invisible remains of hand-dug individual soldier combat positions to huge gun emplacements & bunkers. The SF-88 Nike missile site is the only one completely preserved, though technically speaking, Nike SF-87L (now the Marine Mammal Center) & SF-88C were on Ft Cronkhite property, and SF-87C & SF-88L are on the former Ft. Barry grounds. The border between the two adjoining forts is somewhat confusing, and can be ignored.
     Security Measures
  • 24 hour guard
  • locked gates
  • welded doors
  • US Parks Police, NPS Law Enforcement & NPS Ranger patrols, POISON SUMAC!!
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1937
    Closed: 1973
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • long pants / sleeves
  • towelettes
  • tick repellent, drinking water
  •  Recommended Equipment

    Fort Cronkhite is an approx. 800 acre parcel of land (formerly a dairy ranch) seized by condemnation in 1937 to become a coastal defense site protecting the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Even though we were several years away from entering WWII, tensions between the USA & Japan were high, and there was a strong desire to build new & upgrade existing coast defense sites to protect important West Coast areas against a potential attack by Japan. The former ranch-land had a system of defensive gun positions built, from .30 or .50-caliber machine-gun pits all the way up to Battery Townsley, a set of casemated, 16" guns that were designed to fire 2100 pound projectiles up to 25 miles at sea in order to destroy enemy battleships, and then there were many other structures in-between, from Base End Stations for spotting, to anti-aircraft artillery, to early-warning RADAR sites.

    The hundred of troops assigned to this Harbor Defenses of San Francisco post lived in small dug-in shelters, as well as the many wooden barracks structures which remain today (many others have been removed), despite being 'mobilization buildings,' meaning they were built expediently and with a 'temporary' planned lifetime of perhaps 10 years or so.

    Fort Cronkhite's life was extended beyond WW-II by the start of the early Cold War period. While the coast defense guns were deemed obsolete, Fort Cronkhite's utility now switched to protecting the SF Bay area from hostile aircraft, first with anti-aircraft artillery, and then by the mid-1950s with Nike missile sites SF-87 & 88.

    The Army turned over Fort Cronkhite to the National Park Service during the formation of the Golden gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in the early 1970s, with the Nike SF-88 missile launch site being turned over mostly intact, to be operated as a museum.

    Today, Fort Cronkhite is National Park Service land, open for daytime use, including the exploration of large and small military emplacements. Battery Townsley, sealed up since 1990, is now open the first Sunday of each month from Noon - 4PM for free guided tours.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    Preserved as a national historic site

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Battery Townsley PSR
    Wed, Aug 8th, 2007
    posted by /-/ooligan
    10 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Battery Townsley
    Wed, Aug 8th, 2007
    posted by /-/ooligan
    20 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Misc. Fort Cronkhite
    Fri, Aug 10th, 2007
    posted by /-/ooligan
    25 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Nike SF-88C
    Fri, Aug 10th, 2007
    posted by /-/ooligan
    25 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Battery Townsley meetup
    Mon, Aug 13th, 2007
    posted by Hoverfly
    9 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Battery Townsley--just three
    Tue, Aug 14th, 2007
    posted by darkstuff
    3 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links


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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 9/5/2009 10:49 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Sep 5 09 at 22:49, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Sep 5 09 at 22:17, /-/ooligan changed the following: History, Hazards, Interesting Features, Security Measures
  • on Mar 22 08 at 14:23, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Mar 22 08 at 8:44, /-/ooligan updated gallery picture Townsley PSR 028.jpg
  • on Mar 22 08 at 8:37, /-/ooligan updated gallery picture 039
  • on Mar 22 08 at 8:34, /-/ooligan updated gallery picture Ft Cronkhite 024.jpg
  • on Mar 22 08 at 8:32, /-/ooligan updated gallery picture Ft Cronkhite 006.jpg
  • on Aug 14 07 at 13:26, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Aug 14 07 at 6:21, Hoverfly updated gallery picture Radiator Room
  • on Aug 14 07 at 4:14, Emperor Wang validated this location
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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    You must log in for this feature to work.Battery Townsley in HDRzer0_g18072/4/2011 9:14 PM by SoNaive
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