2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2020 1:22 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking records about Fort DuPont

    Alice Lane Tracker

      I have been searching for information about Fort DuPont in Delaware City, Delaware. Searches give me conflicting information. Some information states that it was sold to a private group. Can National Parks be sold? I would like to know if Fort DuPont is part of the National Park Service. Thank you.

        • Re: Seeking records about Fort DuPont
          Alex Daverede Adventurer

          Alice,

           

          The Fort DuPont in Delaware City is not a part of the National Park System.  The US Army disposed of the property after World War II.  It was offered to the Veterans Administration as a possible VA Hospital site, but the offer was not taken up.  The site was given to the State of Delaware instead, who used the buildings for the Governor Bacon Health Center, established in 1948.  In 1992, a portion of the property became the Fort DuPont State Park.  So today the property is split between the two entities.

           

          The site is unique in that the park and health center are probably the last remaining example of an Endicott-era fort with supporting infrastructure.  Most Endicott fortification survivors today consist of the concrete battery structures, but with none of the support facilities of the fort.  The Fort DuPont site contains several support structures to include family quarters, barracks, supply and maintenance buildings, post exchange and cinema, and even the guard house.  Sadly, with the exception of some of the buildings repurposed by the State of Delaware, the condition of most of the structures is poor.  While one can access most of the concrete batteries, no maintenance is being done, so approach them at your own risk.  The support buildings and quarters, with few exceptions, are visibly deteriorating and are not safe to approach.  However, Fort DuPont does offer a singular opportunity to drive around and see what a late 19th century Coast Artillery post looks like.

           

          I hope you find this information helpful.

           

          A. J.

          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Seeking records about Fort DuPont
            Jason Atkinson Pioneer

            Dear Ms. Lane,

             

            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

            To supplement Mr. Daverede’s response, there is a Fort DuPont Park that is part of the National Park Service, but it is located in Washington, DC and is unrelated to the Delaware site. The name of the park comes from the old Civil War earthwork fort that lies within the park.

             

            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Real Property Disposal Case Files for Delaware, 1944 - 1949 in the Records of the War Assets Administration (Record Group 270) that may have files relating to the disposal of Fort DuPont following World War II. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Philadelphia (RE-PA) at philadelphia.archives@nara.gov.

             

            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RE-PA. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

             

            In regards to your question about whether National Parks can be sold, please refer questions about the laws governing National Parks to the National Park Service

             

            Questions about Fort Dupont State Park may be submitted here.

             

            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!