This place is trashed. It’s like the state said screw it and gave up maintaining the park. There’s tons of spray paint, the iron gates blocking the inside of the fort have all been broken or have had bars removed, there’s trash everywhere, etc…I was told quite a few stories about this Spanish-American War-era fort, and while I don’t normally believe such things, I have to wonder about this place.
Things I heard:
The fort is home to large rats.
A colony of feral cats live there and the homeless take care of them. Homeless people live there too.
Drug use & deals are commonplace.
Prostitutes – most commonly gay men – and their clients meet up there. If you pull in a spot in reverse it means you’re available and looking. Head first means you’re not.
Normally I dismiss such stories as nonsense, the kind of thing certain magazines like to line their pages with because they need content and anyone who has actually bothered to visit such places knows the stories are complete crap. I mean, come on, it’s just a historical city park. How bad could this place be?
But when I pulled up – head first, just to be on the safe side – there was a group of dudes standing on the side of the parking area, and they didn’t take their eyes off me until I took out my camera. Not sure what they were doing there, but they were hanging out the entire time I was there, and once I began walking around the ruins they huddled over by their minivan. Dunno if I stumbled upon some of the fabled fort hookers, a drug deal, or just some other shy tourists, and honestly I’d rather not know.
While I didn’t see any giant rats, we did find a syringe on the ground. On the one side of the fort, along the water, we noticed some tiny shelters with lots of food and water bowls…and then we saw 3 cats. So the feral cat colony story is true at least. And so is the drug one apparently.
Some of the feral cats and their shelters.