Preserving Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas

Preserving Fort Jefferson provides a unique challenge to National Park Service employees and contractors. The remote marine environment, the logistical difficulties, and the size of the fort conspire to make restoring the fort seem daunting. However, highly skilled contractors are now hard at work to insure that Fort Jefferson will be preserved for future generations.

Protection and Problems

Fort Jefferson was intended to hold 450 cannons and 1,500 men. The latest technologies were incorporated into its design to protect the soldiers here. Specialized iron shutters used to protect the cannon openings were one of the many technological advances used here. These hinged, wrought-iron shutters were placed between the mortar core of the fort and the brick façade. A great achievement for their day, they were first introduced into American forts in 1857. These shutters were known as "Totten shutters," after the coastal fort designer, General Joseph Totten.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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