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Zip Code: 11359
Area Code:718
Latitude:40.7900 N
Longitude:73.7808 W

H I S T O R I C A L   T I M E L I N E
1639:  Dutch assume control of peninsula
1640:  Land deeded to William Thorne ("Thorne Neck")
1788:  Ann Thorne (heir to William Thorne) marries William Wilkins ("Wilkins Neck")
1820-1860:  Third System of Fortifications
1821:  Government survey concludes that the property would be useful for coastal defense
1829:  Land sold to Charles and Martha Willet ("Willet's Point")
1829:  Charles Willet farmhouse constructed
1857:  110 acres of land purchased from George and Robertina Irving (heirs of the Willet family) for $200,000
1857:  Congress appropriates $15,000 for the building of the "Fort at Willet's Point"
1860s:  (late 1860s) Commander's Quarters constructed
1861:  Civil War begins
1861:  "The Fort at Willet's Point" officially designated Camp Morgan after Governor Edwin D. Morgan of New York
1862:  Start of Quartermaster's Wharf and Water Battery construction
1863:  26.35 acres of adjoining land bought from Henry Day and his wife for $57,000
1864:  Water Battery construction halted.  New rifled guns and pointed rounds could penetrate masonry coastal defenses, making them obsolete.
1864:  Brevet Major General Joseph Totten dies
1865:  Camp Morgan's first permanent garrison, three companies of engineers, arrives.
1865:  Grant General Hospital (first) completed
1865:  Civil War ends
1866:  Army Engineer School moves to Camp Morgan
1868:  Charles Willet farmhouse relocated and renovated
1870:  Officers' Club constructed
1870:  Camp Morgan designated Engineers Depot for the East
1870:  Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs begins index of buildings at military posts
1870:  Tunnel constructed from the torpedo magazines to the Water Battery
1871:  Post Chapel (first) began construction
1872:  Torpedo School established at Camp Morgan
1878:  War Department begins upgrading living conditions and consolidating Army posts
1879:  Post Chapel (first) completed
1885:  Endicott Board recommends new type of coastal artillery battery for strategic coastal locations
1885:  Engineer School of Application established at Camp Morgan
1889:  Main Gate relocated to present location
1892:  Firehouse constructed
1892:  Guardhouse at new main gate constructed
1896:  Post Hospital (second) constructed
1887:  Officers' Club expanded
1898:  Renamed Fort Totten, after Brevet Major General Joseph Totten
1898:  (Feb) Battleship Maine explodes in Havana harbor
1898:  (Apr-Aug) Spanish American War
1898:  First minefields off Willet's Point
1900s:  Brick officers quarters constructed
1901:  School of Submarine Defense and Torpedo School established at Fort Totten.
1901:  Army Engineer School moves from Ft. Totten to Washington Barracks (DC)
1902:  Quartermaster Dept. adds non-military buildings to posts, such as exchanges, schools, libraries, gyms, and bowling alleys
1902:  Engineering Supply Depot closed
1905:  Secretary of War William Howard Taft continues Endicott Board as Taft Board
1905:  Post Gymnasium constructed
1906:  Walter Reed Hospital (third) constructed
1909:  Commanding General's Quarters constructed
1910:  Post Hospital (second) demolished
1911:  Walter Reed Hospital Building (third) expanded
1914:  Walter Reed Hospital Annex (third) constructed
1917:  US enters World War I
1919:  Treaty of Versailles: World War I ends
1922:  Fort Totten's first anti-aircraft unit arrives
1926:  YMCA Building constructed
1935:  Coastal Artillery removed
1938:  Post Chapel (second) completed
1938:  Post Theater constructed
1941:  US enters World War II
1941:  Fort Totten made headquarters of the Anti-Aircraft Command of the Eastern Defense Command
1944:  Fort Totten becomes headquarters of the North Atlantic region of the Air Transport Command
1945:  (May) World War II ends in Europe (V-E Day)
1945:  (Aug) World War II ends in Asia (V-J Day)
1947:  Armed Forces Medical Research Laboratory established
1950s:  Fort Totten becomes headquarters for over half the Nike missile sites in the country
1953:  Chief Warrant Officer Jacob (Jack) Fein, (US Army, Retired) appointed Official Curator for Military History at Fort Totten
1955-1962:  Capehart (housing) Program
1962:  New York City fireboat JOHN GLENN arrives at Fort Totten
1967:  Air Defense Command headquarters moved out of Fort Totten
1971:  New York City fireboat JOHN GLENN departs Fort Totten
1971:  Job Corps moves onto base
1976:  Coast Guard opens small boat station on Fort Totten
1977:  Fort Totten declared surplus property
1981:  Federal government almost puts Fort Totten on sale for private development
1983:  Ernie Pyle Army Reserve Center completed
1995:  Congress approves the closing of Fort Totten as an economizing measure
2004:  49.5 acres turned over to the Parks Department by the National Parks Service and Defense Department
2005:  Fort Totten Park opens to the public

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The web site is an unofficial, not-for-profit resource created to help reunite people who worked or lived on the base while it was active.  While we are always happy to work with any individual or organization with information, suggestions or questions about Fort Totten and this site, this site is not affiliated with, nor does it take any content guidance from, the US Army, the City of New York, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the New York City Fire Department, any municipal, tourism or non-profit agency.

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Last updated: Sunday, 16-Sep-2012 17:35:38 EDT