Dutch Island, Jamestown, Rhode Island

Battery Hale, nestled on Dutch Island off Jamestown, Rhode Island, is a relic of a bygone era, standing as a silent sentinel of Fort Greble's military history.

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Battery Hale, nestled on Dutch Island off Jamestown, Rhode Island, is a relic of a bygone era, standing as a silent sentinel to the changing tides of military history. Abandoned and reclaimed by nature, this coastal gun battery tells a story of technological advancements and strategic defense.

Constructed during the Endicott Period as part of the Harbor Defense of Narragansett Bay, Battery Hale was named after Captain Nathan Hale, a Revolutionary War hero. The battery was designed to protect the vital Newport Harbor and Providence River, a response to advancements in weaponry that rendered older fortifications obsolete. The Endicott Board, appointed in 1885, spearheaded the creation of this new system of defense, leading to the construction of Battery Hale.

Originally, Battery Hale was equipped with three 10-inch M1888MII guns mounted on M1896 Disappearing carriages. These formidable weapons, capable of firing 500-pound projectiles up to 15 miles, were a testament to the technological prowess of the period. The guns were manufactured by Bethlehem Steel Company and transported to the island by railway. The battery itself is a two-story structure with guns on the upper level and magazines below, connected by electric Taylor-Raymond back deliver shell hoists installed in 1905.

However, the winds of change swept through Battery Hale with the onset of World War I. In 1918, one of its guns was dismounted and transferred to the Watervliet Arsenal in New York for service abroad. The battery was caught up again in World War II's armament demands, leading to the scrapping of its guns in 1942 during a large-scale scrap drive.

Today, Battery Hale is part of the Dutch Island State Wildlife Management Area Park. The battery, devoid of its original guns and mounts, is a shadow of its former self, succumbing to the relentless forces of nature. Its concrete structure, once robust and imposing, now cracks and crumbles, serving as a haven for local wildlife and a canvas for the elements. Visitors who venture to this secluded historic site are rewarded with a rare glimpse into the past, walking through rooms that once stored ammunition and climbing stairways that soldiers might have used.

Reaching Battery Hale is an adventure in itself. Accessible only by boat, it requires a journey from nearby Fort Getty State Park. The journey involves navigating through dense vegetation and overgrown paths, a testament to the site's isolation and abandonment.

As explorers walk the grounds of Battery Hale, they tread on hallowed ground, a place where history echoes through abandoned halls and overgrown pathways. It's a unique opportunity to connect with a past era, to stand where soldiers once stood, and to ponder the ceaseless march of time that turns even the mightiest of structures into ruins. Battery Hale is not just an abandoned military installation; it's a portal to a different time, a tangible reminder of our ever-evolving history.

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Dutch Island, Jamestown, Rhode Island

GPS Coordinates:
41.502389, -71.400222
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Parking Notes:
Battery Hale is located on Dutch Island off Jamestown, Rhode Island. The only way to access this abandoned coastal gun battery is by boat. Kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes can be launched from nearby Fort Getty State Park which charges an entrance fee during the summer. After reaching the island, a lot of bushwhacking is required to reach Battery Hale. It is not an easy structure to reach!


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