Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Fort Pickering

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Built  1643
Opened  1643
Added to NRHP  8 February 1973
NRHP Reference #  73000320
Area  8,000 m²
Fort Pickering
Location  Winter Island, Salem, Massachusetts
Part of  Winter Island Historic District and Archeological District
Address  Winter Island Rd, Salem, MA 01970, USA
Similar  Winter Island, Fort Pickering Light, Fort Ruckman, Fort Standish, Fort Dawes

Lighthouse at winter island fort pickering in salem ma from phantom 3 drone

Fort Pickering is a 17th-century historic fort site on Winter Island in Salem, Massachusetts. Fort Pickering operated as a strategic coastal defense and military barracks for Salem Harbor during a variety of periods, serving as a fortification from the Anglo-Dutch Wars through World War II. Construction of the original fort began in 1643 and it saw use as a military installation into the 20th century. Fort Pickering is a First System fortification named for Colonel Timothy Pickering, adjutant general of the Continental Army and secretary of War in 1795. Today, the remains of the fort are open to the public as part of the Winter Island Maritime Park, operated by the City of Salem.


Fort pickering lighthouse

17th century

Winter Island at the time of English settlement in the early 17th century was an island separated from the mainland, held as common land by the Proprietors and used as a fortification and for fishing activities.

18th century

The old fortification which was named Fort William then renamed Fort Anne (for then Queen Anne), was rebuilt around 1706 under the direction of the Royal Engineers who had originally been sent by King William III to fortify the colonies. It was known as Fort Number Two in Patriot hands during the American Revolution. In 1794, the City of Salem ceded the fort to the federal government and a new fort was constructed in its place. Major repairs to the fort were conducted in 1796 and a restoration in 1799. Later in 1799 it was renamed Fort Pickering in honor of Timothy Pickering, then Secretary of State of the U.S.

19th century

The fort received its fourth military restoration in 1814. During the 19th century, the island was used primarily for fortification and in 1864 the City of Salem again ceded the island to the federal government in support of the Civil War efforts. It was also called Salem Barracks in that war.

20th century

The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 1994, the National Register designated the entire collection of cultural resources at Winter Island and Fort Pickering as the Winter Island Historic District and Archeological District.


Fort Pickering Wikipedia