Battery Cooke is an abandoned reinforced concrete coastal gun battery in present-day Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown, Rhode Island. It was constructed during the Endicott Period and originally equipped with
Battery Cooke Establishment
Masonry forts and smoothbore cannons were rendered obsolete by improvements in weapons made during the Civil War. In order to create a modern defense system, the US government launched the Endicott Board in 1885. The Endicott system was constructed between 1890 and 1910, and some of its components were still in use in 1945. Nowadays, this time period is known as the Endicott Period.
During the Endicott Period, the government examined the Harbor Defenses of Narragansett Bay and made a number of recommendations for improvements. The Army decided to officially establish Fort Wetherill in Jamestown, Rhode Island in the year 1900. There were dozens of structures built on Fort Wetherill including Battery Cooke.
Construction on Battery Cooke started in
World War 1 and 2
Large caliber coastal defense gun tubes were extensively removed for use in Europe as a result of the United States’ involvement in World War I. Several of the removed cannon and mortar tubes were taken to arsenals to be modified and mounted on mobile carriages. The majority of the dismantled cannon tubes were either remounted or left at the arsenals until they were required elsewhere, most never made it to Europe. Battery Cooke was not affected by the redistribution of guns during World War 1 or the 1920 disarmament program.
During World War 2, Battery Cooke
What Remains Today
Today, the abandoned old battery is located in Fort Wetherill State Park which opened to the public in 1972. It is one of 7 gun batteries located in the park. Visitors are welcome to walk on top of the Battery Cooke and also within it. As of 2023, many of the doors are open and stairways allow people to explore all levels. This is an abandoned structure, so it is extremely important to be careful while exploring. The battery is mostly covered in graffiti.
Fort Wetherill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1972, and this listing includes Battery Cooke.
- Year Established: 1901
- Years Used: 1901-1943
- Year Abandoned: 1943
- Original Function: Endicott Period coastal gun battery equipped with
- National Register of Historic Places: #72000021
Battery Cooke Location
- Address: Fort Wetherill Road
- Town: Jamestown
- State: Rhode Island
- GPS: 41.477938, -71.358986
- Parking Notes: There are about two dozen free parking spots located right near the fort at the end of Fort Wetherill Road. Parking is free and additional parking can be found within the park.
- Parking Directions: HERE
- Location Directions: HERE