Fort Stevens State Park – Battery Russell – Oregon

Battery Russell

From the Oregon State Parks website: Battery Russell was a later addition to a large military installation built in the 19th century to defend the mouth of the Columbia River.

Fort Stevens, which dates back to the Civil War, protected the Oregon side of the river, while Fort Columbia and Fort Canby stood guard on the Washington side. Together, these three forts comprised the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia. Battery Russell was constructed between 1903 and 1904 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps.

It was one of nine concrete gun batteries (emplacements for cannon or heavy artillery) built at Fort Stevens to conceal and protect mounted guns from enemy ships. Battery Russell was named for Brigadier General David A. Russell, who served with the U.S. 4th Infantry Regiment in the Oregon Territory and commanded Fort Yamhill before he was killed in action during the Civil War.

Battery Russell

Oregon isn’t just a pretty face.

This facility was armed with two 10-inch “disappearing guns” whose barrels could retract from view into the gun pits to provide cover Brigadier General David A. Russell for soldiers while they reloaded. Each gun was manned by a team of 35 men. A well-trained gun crew could fire a 600-pound shell once every minute with an effective range of eight miles.

Battery Russell

There were a lot of stairs to climb but after sitting in the van for several hours it was good exercise!

Battery Russell

I really enjoyed all the weathered and graffitied concrete.

Battery Russell

I see “art” everywhere I go and I could envision this as a piece in a modern art gallery!

Battery Russell

Who was/is Jaden? I want to know!

Battery Russell

I love these stairs enhanced with the straw… without the dry grass this would not be as interesting, what do you think?

Battery Russell

The color scheme here is perfect. The punch of the purple makes the picture.

Battery Russell

And my favorite photo from Battery Russell. Look at the play of light and the textures. I am thinking about Johannes Vermeer. Art is everywhere if you know where to look!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


6 thoughts on “Fort Stevens State Park – Battery Russell – Oregon

  1. DG MARYOGA September 14, 2015 / 7:41 am

    Well-preserved Fort,even the loopholes are almost intact!Gorgeous textures,I do agree that anything weathered is art and it perfectly shows in your photo series,dear Roslyn.Vermeer’s aspect is obvious in your last photo while the play of light makes it so painterly 🙂


    • RMW September 14, 2015 / 8:10 am

      Thank you for your observations, Doda.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy November 18, 2015 / 10:15 am

    I really enjoyed the tour, Roslyn! Great photos you captured. 🙂


    • RMW November 18, 2015 / 10:17 am

      Thanks Amy!


  3. Dalo 2013 February 13, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    This was one of my favorite State Parks to visit as a kid…I’ve really got to revisit it again 🙂


    • RMW February 14, 2016 / 10:24 am

      It was definitely a fascinating and unexpected experience.


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