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EVENTS

13th Annual Jackson County Sheriff’s Rodeo

05/09/2014 – 05/10/2014
Location: Vancleave Multipurpose Arena, 5400 Ballpark Road, Vancleave

19th Annual Gulf Coast Wooden Boat Show

05/17/2014 – 05/18/2014
Location: Schooner Pier Complex, 367 Beach Blvd, Biloxi

JAZZ IN THE PASS

05/17/2014 – 05/18/2014
Location: War Memorial Park, Highway 90, Pass Christian

Smokin' the Lake

05/02/2014 – 05/04/2014
Location: Gulfport Lake

International Spring Festival

05/16/2014 – 05/18/2014
Location: Our Lady of Fatima, 2090 Pass Road, Biloxi

22nd Annual MS Coast Coliseum Crawfish Music Festival

04/17/2014 – 04/27/2014
Location: MS Coast Coliseum, 2350 Beach Blvd, Biloxi

Hiller Park Carnival

05/09/2014 – 05/11/2014
Location: Hiller Park Softball Fields, 380 Hiller Drive, Biloxi

11th Annual Smokin' the Sound

04/24/2014 – 04/27/2014
Location: Biloxi Channel

2nd Annual Pass Wine & Food Festival

05/10/2014 – 05/10/2014
Location: Christman Residence, 849 Scenic Drive, Pass Christian

3rd Annual Stella's Blues & BBQ Festival

05/03/2014 – 05/03/2014
Location: Historic Depot, 1928 Depot Way, Bay St. Louis

WEATHER

Sky Conditions: Fair

Temperature: 67º
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Fort Massachusetts - Gulf Islands National Seashore

  • 3500 Park Road
  • Ocean Springs, MS 39564
  • Phone: (228) 230-4100
    Fax: (228) 872-2954
  • Visit Website

Rangers and volunteers give free guided tours of Fort Massachusetts during the spring, summer and fall. The tours begin inside the fort soon after the Ship Island ferry boat docks at the island. Tours are scheduled twice daily in the summer, and once daily in the spring and fall. Access to Ship Island is seasonal and by passenger ferry aboard Ship Island Excursions. The ferry departs from Gulfport Yacht Harbor located at the intersection of Highway 49 and U.S. Highway 90. Admission charged for the ferry ride to Ship Island.

Fort Massachusetts
is located on the western tip of Ship Island - 12 miles south of Gulfport and operated under the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Fort Massachusetts was one of the last Third System forts constructed. The importance of this location is the strategic deep water harbor located near the island. It was used by the British to stage their invasion of New Orleans in the War of 1812.

Construction of Fort Massachusetts did not begin until 1859, and by the beginning of the Civil War, little had been completed. It was occupied by a short time by the Confederates; however they later abandoned it to the Federals. The island was later used by the Federal troops to stage their invasion of New Orleans. Construction of the fort continued during the Civil War, with supplies brought in by ship from the North. Construction ended by 1866. The fort was never fully armed, and only manned by caretaker detachments from the end of the Civil War until its abandonment by the army around 1900.

Fort Massachusetts has a round face which oriented toward the deep-water harbor. Originally the fort was located 500 feet from the west end of Ship Island. It is now more than 1 mile from the west end of the island, and sand has been dredged and placed to protect the north side of the fort from erosion.  Learn about this formidable structure, why built on an isolated island, and what was it protecting.