History Facts and Figures
When was Fort Monroe National Monument established?
Fort Monroe National Monument is the 396th unit of the National Park Service. It was established by President Obama on November 1, 2011 by executive order using the Antiquities Act, the first time he had exercised this authority.
When was the fort built?
Construction on Fort Monroe began in 1819, and the fort was completed in 1834.
How big is Fort Monroe?
There are 565 total acres, 110 acres of submerged land, and 85 acres of wetlands.
How long has a fort been at this location?
Fort Monroe is the fourth fort on this location (known as Old Point Comfort). The earliest fortifications, Fort Algernourne, were built by English colonists in 1609.
When was the lighthouse built?
The lighthouse was built in 1802 and is the oldest operating lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.
How old are the trees?
The live oaks on the Parade Ground are likely centuries old. They are present on maps from the 1700s, and one tree, the Algernourne Oak, has been analyzed and dated at 500 years.
How many buildings are at Fort Monroe?
There are 259 buildings and structures at Fort Monroe; 169 are historic.
What makes a building historic?
It is at least 50 years old.
How many species of birds are at Fort Monroe?
In a 2009-2010 study, 89 species of birds were observed at Fort Monroe.
How many species of native plants are at Fort Monroe?
Fort Monroe is home to a total of 9 species of trees and a total of 249 species of flora representing 179 genus and 67 families of plants. The area has 136 native and 113 introduced plants meaning 55% of the plant assemblage of Fort Monroe is made up of native species and 45% of introduced species.
What is there to do at Fort Monroe National Monument right now? The Fort Monroe Visitor and Education Center is open from 9:30 am to 4:30pm and the Casemate Museum is open from 10 am to 4 pm Wednesday to Sunday. Pick a park brochure and self-guided walking tour from here. Check out the Things to Do page or the Fort Monroe Authority website for more information.
Where can I learn more about programming available at the national monument?
Programming opportunities continue to grow at the park. A complete schedule of events, including the latest information, is available on the calendar.
Is the former Officers' Club open year round?
The former Officers' Club is typically open from approximately Memorial Day to Labor Day. No specific dates are announced for the coming season.
Is the whole Fort Monroe Peninsula part of the national monument?
No. The national monument is comprised of 325 acres -90 acres concentrated around the fort including: Building #1, Quarters No. 1 - the original fort headquarters and oldest structure, not counting the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse; Building #17 - quarters once occupied by Lt. Robert E. Lee's young family; Building #50, the historic engineers' quarters; the Parade Ground; and 235 acres of the North Beach area.
Other facilities are operated by partners or private businesses. The Army will continue to have a presence during the ongoing environmental clean up process. The Fort Monroe Authority is main active partner on-site offering event and recreation opportunities for the public and operating the Fort Monroe Visitor and Education Center and Casemate Museum.
Where are public restrooms?
There are public restrooms at the Fort Monroe Visitor and Education Center and port-o-potties along the beach and boardwalk. Please note that some port-o-pottie locations are seasonal.
Do you sell Interagency Passes?
This pass series includes the annual as well as senior passes. There is no fee at Fort Monroe National Monument and as a result one cannot purchase the Interagency Passes here. The nearest place to acquire a pass is Colonial National Historic Park in Yorktown:
Yorktown National Battlefield Visitor Center
1000 Colonial Parkway, Yorktown, VA, Phone: (757) 898-2410
Passes also available online.
Where can I get something to eat?
There are several eating establishments on Fort Monroe. Prepackaged food and beverages are also available at the Colonies RV and Travel Park - Country Store. A wider selection of restaurants are located in downtown Phoebus, just across Mill Creek from Fort Monroe, and in other nearby areas of Hampton, VA.
Are there any hotels on Fort Monroe?
There is no lodging at Fort Monroe. However, there are a number of hotel options in Hampton. Visit Hampton is a great place to start searching for lodging options. The Chamberlin Hotel is now a independent retirement community and no longer functions as a hotel.
Is camping allowed on Fort Monroe?
RV and tent campsites are available at the Colonies RV and Travel Park. The number of RV sites is limited and the RV park is popular area camping location. Please allow plenty of time in advance of your trip to book your spot. Reservations can be made in-person, online, or by calling 757-722-2200 or 757-635-0471.
Where can I fish?
The only designated fishing spots from land at Fort Monroe is Engineer Wharf and the Finger Pier on the Chesapeake Bay side, located on Fenwick Road adjacent to Continental Park. A Virginia Saltwater Fishing License is required, which can be purchased online, or by calling 866-721-6911
Can I schedule a tour of the Fort Monroe Visitor and Education Center or Casemate Museum?
Guided tours for groups of 10 or more (and school groups, Grade 3 and up) can be scheduled by calling 757-690-8181. The cost is $3 per person. Please allow a two-week notice when scheduling.
Is there a lifeguard on the beach?
Outlook Beach is the only beach at Fort Monroe that has a lifeguard. Lifeguards are provided by the city of Hampton at Outlook Beach from 10 am until 6 pm daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day. It is not lifeguarded in the off-season.
Do I need to bring identification to see the monument?
No. Fort Monroe is no longer an active military installation, no identification is required to visit.
Can I bring my dog?
Leashed pets are welcome at Fort Monroe, but are not allowed on the beach during the summer months (May 15th – Sept. 15th) or in the buildings at any time. Service animals are welcome everywhere. Please clean up after your pets and do not leave them unattended.
What activities are available for children?
Fort Monroe National Monument has a Junior Ranger program, in which filling out a booklet can earn a wooden Junior Ranger badge. Booklets are available at the Fort Monroe Visitoe and Education Center. Children can also enjoy the beaches or join guided tours or other events that are geared toward families. Most of the exhibits and tours are designed for 3rd grade and older.
Where can I have a picnic?
Picnicking is allowed on the grounds or beach away from heavily trafficked areas. (Prohibited in historic structures or on the sea wall.) the Colonies RV and Travel Park has pavilions available for rent. Contact the Colonies RV and Travel Park at 757-722-2200 or 757-635-0471.
Can I have my wedding on Fort Monroe?
The Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) is the other main land manager at Fort Monroe. The Special Events Team are happy to talk with you about the available Weddings and Special Occasions venues at Fort Monroe. If you would like to hold a special event on the Parade Ground or other NPS property, please complete a Special Use Permit Application and submit it as directed. Please note that all ceremonies require a Special Use Permit on NPS property.
Now that Fort Monroe is no longer an active military base, who owns the property today?
The answer to this question is complicated. Fort Monroe is largely operated through partnerships to maintain and interpret the land and numerous historic buildings. What does that mean for visitors? Fortunately, we work hard to establish policies consistently on-site to create a seamless experience.
How many people live at Fort Monroe?
Fort Monroe contains 176 housing units, and approximately 160 families live at Fort Monroe. What to joint them? Properties range from 800 sq feet to several thousand with prices to match, including utilities.
Is there wheelchair access?
Many of the historic structures on Fort Monroe were built prior to the American with Disabilities Act, and work to bring areas into ADA compliance is ongoing. The primary visitor service areas, including the Fort Monroe Visitor and Education Center and Casemate Museum, are wheelchair accessible. Appropriate accessible parking and facilities are available. The walls of Fort Monroe offer limited accessibility. The ramps to access the top of the walls are steep and handrails are provided.
Are there job or volunteer opportunities at Fort Monroe?
The National Park Service hires through USAJobs.gov. The Fort Monroe Authority will also post any vacancies for internships, career, and other volunteer positions. Fort Monroe volunteer offers a variety of ways to contribute your time and expertise to help support the operation of one of America’s national treasures. Get Involved - Contact us by email: e-mail us or call: 757-722-FORT (3678).
What makes the Fort Monroe story important in American History?
Fort Monroe National Monument spans the American story from before the 17th European arrival to the 21st century: American Indian presence, Captain John Smith's journeys, a haven of freedom for the enslaved during the American Civil War, and a bastion of defense for the Chesapeake Bay.
What is the difference between and national park and a national monument?
Park units have different designations depending on the type of park or a description of its resources. The names are created in the Congressional legislation authorizing the sites or by the presidential proclamation. In many cases national monuments have been established by the authority granted to the president in the 1906 Antiquities Act. In 1970, Congress elaborated on the 1916 National Park Service Organic Act, saying all units of the system have equal legal standing in a national park system
How can I get information on the Fort Monroe National Historic Landmark District?
Fort Monroe was designated as a National Historic Landmark District December 19, 1960.
It is possible that unexploded ordinance may be found at Fort Monroe as it is a former military base and ordinance can also wash in on the beaches.
Please be aware of the following guidelines:
Recognize: Any metal object, especially found on the beach, is suspect.
Retreat: Do not touch or move object. Carefully leave the area as soon as possible.
Report: Call 911 to report the suspected ordinance.