A Chronology of the Physical and Administrative Development of Castle Pinckney – March 2013

A Chronology of the Physical and Administrative Development of Castle Pinckney

March 2013

Compiled by Richard Dorrance





1805 State of South Carolina conveys the property to the federal government. Rogers Young*
ca 1807 Jonathan Williams credited with designing Castle Williams and Castle Pinckney David Weirick*
ca 1807 First architectural drawings of  the fort, undated. David Weirick
late 1808 Construction of the fort commences under direction of Major Alexander Macomb. Rogers Young
Dec. 1809 “…nearly completed.” Rogers Young
1810 South side (curved) has eight casemates, powder magazine, powder room.  North side (straight gorge wall) has four soldiers rooms, four officer’s quarters, Sallyport.  Complete except parapet on the barbette tier. Rogers Young
1811 Parapet completed, thirty guns mounted. Rogers Young
1811 Statement that thirty guns were mounted is inaccurate based on design for nineteen guns. David Weirick
1818-1819 Garrisoned. Rogers Young
1821 Drawings of the fort. David Weirick
1811-1831 No new construction, basic maintenance. Rogers Young
1818 Report of thirty guns mounted. David Weirick
1830s Fort not garrisoned until 1830s. David Weirick
1831 Dated, most informative early drawings of the fort. David Weirick
1833 Battery of 24 pounders installed.  Palisade outside gorge wall constructed. Rogers Young
1833 Drawing shows four guns in casemates, four guns enbarbette, and eighteen guns mounted on the large palisade wall. David Weirick
1833 Drawing shows five outbuildings constructed outside gorge wall but inside palisade: hospital, workshop, guardhouse. David Weirick
1834 Ordnance consists of two 5 1\2 inch brass howitzers, two 24 pounder iron howitzers, and one 10 inch seacoast mortar.  Post hospital. Rogers Young
1839, 1846 Drawings showing improvements to fort, most of which were not constructed. David Weirick
1841 Drawings showing excellent detail, very informative about conditions of the site at that time. David Weirick
1836-1860 Ungarrisoned. Rogers Young
1854 Wharf destroyed by storm.
1855 Installation of fifty foot tall light tower with 5th order Fresnel lens. Rogers Young
1850s Powder storehouse for the City Arsenal. Rogers Young
1857 Wharf rebuilt, riprap with flagging stone to base of fort walls installed, boathouse constructed, new shot furnace, repairs to barracks and quarters. David Weirick
1858 Repointing and whitewashing of walls, repairs to casemates, more work on barracks. David Weirick
1860 Repairs.  Ordnance consists of fourteen 24 pounders, four 42 pounders, four 8 inch seacoast mortars, one 10 inch mortar and one 8 inch mortar, four light artillery pieces. Rogers Young
1860 Repairs, including to palisade and cisterns. David Weirick
1861 Some ordnance removed. Rogers Young
1861 Used as prison.  Rear opening of casemates bricked up, then reopened. David Weirick
Sep. 1862 Ordnance consists of three 24 pounders in casemates, six 24 pounders and one 24 pounder rifled cannon en barbette. Rogers Young
Apr. 1864-Jan. 1865 Interior and exterior walls buried in sand to protect from shelling and to provide a new rampart with merlons, traverses, and gun emplacements. Rogers Young
1863 Drawings show proposed conversion to earthwork and barbette battery, with buried tunnels. David Weirick
1864-1865 Part of barracks demolished.  Earthworks continues. David Weirick
1865-1878 Uneventful. Rogers Young
1867-1868 Again used as prison. David Weirick
1870-1876 Used as War Dept ordnance storehouse and navigation light. David Weirick
1878 Transferred to Dept of Treasury Lighthouse Board. Rogers Young
1880 New harbor light installed on the pierhead (wharf) at the south end of the island. Rogers Young
1880-1882 Construction of storehouse and Keeper’s Quarters inside the walls.  Begins function as supply depot. Rogers Young
1884 Fort in poor condition, with magazine roofs (casemates ?) caving in, walls settled and cracked, barracks deteriorated, wood building north of fort poor condition. Rogers Young
1901 Drawing.  Remainder of barracks demolished; more of interior filled with sand; concrete cap installed on fill; new keepers quarters, store house, and rail line constructed out to wharf; Sally port still open; buildings outside fort demolished. David Weirick
1911 Pier head light rebuilt. Rogers Young
1917 Lighthouse Board ends operations and reverts to War Dept.  Light is automated.  Keepers quarters demolished and replaced with smaller residence. Rogers Young
1917-1936 Engineers supply depot. Rogers Young
1924 Declared a National Monument by President Coolidge.  Under control of War Dept. Rogers Young
1929 List of existing structures:  Keepers quarters 35’ by 37’; brick storehouse 39’ by 100’; wood building with piazza 19’ by 20’; wood building 18’ by 31’, destroyed 1929; wood building 32’ by 66’ on wharf approach; wharf with 300’ approach and 150’ wide at head; 600 tons of newly installed riprap. David Weirick
1933 Transferred to National Park Service.  Still functions as Engineers supply depot.  Pierhead light rebuilt. Rogers Young
1938 Publication of first scholarly study of the site by Rogers Young. David Weirick
1938-1956 Army engineers supply depot. David Weirick
1957 Transferred from Park Service to General Services Administration. David Weirick
1958 Sold to State Ports Authority (SPA) for $12,000. David Weirick
1964-1965 SPA deeds property to South Carolina Shriners, for use as retreat for crippled children.  This is unconfirmed. Christopher Ziegler*
1967 Fire destroys most buildings. David Weirick
1968 Sold to Fort Sumter Camp (FSC) 1269, Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV). David Weirick
1978 Publication of archeological assessment, funded by FSC, SCV. David Weirick
1984 Site returned to SPA. David Weirick
2011 Site and Castle Pinckney re-sold to FSC 1269, SCV. David Weirick

Young, Rogers W. 1936. Castle Pinckney: Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.  National Park Service, Fort Pulaski National Monument.

*Weirick, David. 2012. Castle Pinckney: Past, Present, Future. A thesis presented to The Graduate Schools of Clemson University and College of Charleston.  Masters of Science in Historic Preservatio.

*Ziegler, Christopher T. 2007. The Origins and Development of America’s Forgotten Castle: Castle Pinckney.  Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Arts in Public History in the Department of History, University of South Carolina.


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