Historical Marker Series

New Jersey: Fort Hancock Walking Tour

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The beacon on the Sandy Hook Lighthouse was extinguished on December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It remained dark until the end of World War II in 1945.
Fort Hancock's soldiers doubled as firefighters. This firehouse was built close to Barracks Row so the soldiers who lived there could quickly get to the fire fighting equipment. Fort Hancock was in operation from 1895 to 1974.
The Fort Hancock Gas Station was operated by the Post Exchange. It was the only filling station on post where soldiers with privately owned vehicles could buy fuel or have them serviced. Fort Hancock was in operation from 1895 to 1974.
Fort Hancock's barracks originally included barber and tailor shops, a kitchen, and a mess hall. After a few years, the army wanted more bunk space and these operations were moved to new detached mess halls built directly behind each barracks. Fort Hanc…
In 1941, a new gymnasium was built on the other side of the YMCA. The smaller gym that stood here was demolished and the site was converted to a handball court. Fort Hancock was in operation from 1895 to 1974.
YMCAs on military posts were places for rest and recreation and were built by private contributions. The Fort Hancock Y offered refreshments, game rooms, and a reading room. Visiting families could stay in rooms on the top floor. The one-story wing on the r…
The parade ground is one of the most important fixtures of any military post. Here troops drilled, formed for inspection, held morning calisthenics, and paraded and reviewed for senior military officers and visiting dignitaries. Fort Hancock was in opera…
Fort Hancock was built on sand. To stabilize the ground, topsoil was imported in the early 1900s. A layer of earth several inches deep was added to the parade ground and to other areas around the post. Fort Hancock was in operation from 1895 to 1974.
On Monday, April 5, 1943, the New York Yankees played the Fort Hancock baseball team on this very field. While future Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto were serving their country in the Armed Forces, others, including Joe Gordon and Bill Dickey, …
Like any small town, Fort Hancock had a jail. Military life was strict and a soldier could be punished for an offense as minor as being outside his barracks after lights-out. Military penalties could include loss of rank, heavy fines, assignment to a work d…