Museum outside the Museum
Fort Putnam is part of the landward defenses of Fortress West Point. It is one of the series of forts and redoubts that protected the Great Chain across the Hudson and blocked British Naval ships and supplies from using this water route to Canada. As such, George Washington considered West Point to be the "Key to the Continent." Fort Putnam is a reminder that West Point was an important military post before the United States Military Academy was founded here in 1802.
The Fort was a ruin when it was rebuilt in the 1920s using the old plans and cadet drawings of what the fort looked like in the early years. It was refurbished again and "armed" with reproduction field and garrison guns as well as mortars, for the 1976 Bicentennial. At that point, the Fort became the responsibility of the West Point Museum which maintains the interpretation of West Point's importance to the American Revolution at Fort Putnam.
The Fort is funded solely through gifts from the Association of Graduates and the West Point Museum.
It is open seasonally on weekends during the summer and in the fall only on Home football game weekends. Please be aware, that the Fort is not handicapped accessible due to the nature of the ground, and is a walk uphill about 200 yards from the parking area.
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