FORT MONROE IS A SPECIAL PLACE TO MANY
- Memories of and hopes for Fort Monroe (9/30/2019)
August 23-25, 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in North America.
They arrived at Fort Monroe, Virginia, a place where I lived in junior high. Our house was inside the moat. I loved climbing the hill behind my house and looking at the moat. It was the only fort left in the U.S. that actually had water in its moat. I used to walk through the sally port and across the pedestrian bridge (in the photo by B.Payden Photography), unless, of course, my big brother was chasing me on our way to the school bus! Check out Payden’s Photography at:
Now, my 60-year-old memories are changed forever by this knowledge of the beginnings of European enslavement of Africans in the New World. I am deeply sorry to all those who were affected by this gruesome time in our history.
And I look forward to ongoing future commemorations honoring the many roles African men and women filled in building America—clearing the land, tilling the plantations, harvesting the crops, building the structures, developing solutions to difficult problems the new world presented, and so much more.
My hope is that their stories, along with stories of privation of the African population, will be told in American history classes across the country, so we will all have a deeper understanding of our history. And a commitment Never Again to Allow It Happen.
- Special Memories of a Special Time (9/30/2019)
My first and only son was born in the hospital on Ft. Monroe in 1963. My husband had just shipped out suddenly for Germany and I was left to transport myself from our apartment in Hampton to the fort hospital as I went into labor the next day after his leaving. Needless to say this left unforgettable memories of Ft. Monroe. That was one of the most enjoyable posts that we lived on in our 26 years of service and I am looking forward to again visiting Ft. Monroe this autumn.
- My Favorite Place on earth ..and I have traveled extensively. (9/30/2019)
My history began when my mother would drive me along the seawall IN UTERO ..1937 and those adventures continued throughout my childhood and until I attended the decommissioning of my BELOVED and “sacred” Fort Monore, VA. I took some of my first steps around The Gazebo, then known as The Bandstand, held my first federal job at age 17 in 1954 the Civ Pers Ofc, and advanced to Post Engineers u leaving in 1968. I met my husband of 62 years while he was stationed there we, as full time RVers, camped at The Colonies where we were on 9/11, my husband had a heart attack at The Colonies in 2001 and so much more. I was working in Post Engineers the calls during the infamous PIGEON infestation and also worked during the Ash Wednesday Storm which was a sight to behold from the second story window of The Post Engineer Building. My history goes back 82 years and has left profound and unprecedented memories of both the military and civilian venues at Fort Monroe, Virginia.
- My Favorite Home as a Child (3/9/2019)
I loved living on Ft. Monroe. We lived on post at 96 Ingalls Rd. from 1978-1981, which included the last year Ft. Monroe Elementary School was open. I loved walking or biking around the moat to the school; getting on the bus to go to Bassett for two years was not nearly as much fun. We spent a lot of time at the Scout Hut for Girl Scouts and at the Casemate Museum, where my mom was a docent. My favorite place on post by far was the band gazebo and sea wall by the Chamberlain Hotel. I used to walk down there to watch ships come in and go out, especially from Norfolk Naval Station. If I could tolerate the summers, I’d find a way to move back to Ft. Monroe when I retire—not to relive my childhood, but to keep building experiences in an amazing place full of history.
BUT: even though I had 4th grade Virginia history in a classroom 1/4 mile down the coast from Old Point Comfort (if that), I was in my 30s before I discovered its link to the sale and purchase of human beings in the slave trade. I consider that a sad commentary on our inability to address the worst aspects of our American heritage.
- Great place to work (2/11/2019)
Early in our marriage my husband and I lived in Newport News (1975), he worked at the shipyard and I later found a job at Fort Monroe. Even though I only worked there for a short time (I found out I was pregnant with our son), I was excited to be able to say that I worked in the fort. I had visited the fort and liked the casemates. The office where I worked was inside the moated area and I remember having to drive over a small narrow bridge to get there. Also we spent an early anniversary at the Chamberlain Hotel. We loved their indoor salt water pool! My father was stationed for a short time at Fort Monroe early in my parents’ marriage too.
- Civil War Soldier Sawyer (10/23/2017)
Fascinating story is my ancestor who ended up at Fort Monroe at the end of the Civil War. I was born and raised here, started doing genealogy, and found a relative who served in the Civil War. Samuel Sawyer’s fascinating story is that he served from the beginning of the war to the end. He was in all the major battles including the Bloody Angle, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, and his 32nd NC Regiment came furtherest north to capture the capital. Col. Brabble bragged of the regiment’s bravery at Gettysburg and Robert E. Lee issued the Regiment with the 2nd Flag of the Confederacy because, “they were most worthy of carrying it”. Just days before the end of the war, Samuel was wounded and captured at Petersburg where he lost his right arm. He was sent to Fort Monroe May 17, 1865 and discharged on taking oath July 9, 1865. Upon, discovering this, I took my kids to tour Fort Monroe and enjoyed all of it. There was so much I had never known. The history here needs to be told. We are the beginning of America from Jamestown to the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Military & Shipyards, and beyond.
- Daughter of a Retired Master Seargent (10/23/2017)
We were moved here to Hampton, VA when my father was stationed at Fort Monroe. My childhood was spent at baseball games my father umpired on the field where the new bowling alley was built and basketball games he refereed at the Y. Sitting up on the balcony in the Y, looking down on the game was exciting. My fondest memories involve the Chamberlain Hotel. My father was also the bartender in the small bar to the left as you entered the hotel from the staircase side of the building. Sitting on the bar stool, legs tucked under me so I could reach the Maraschino cherries and eating them till I was a little ill on the stomach. The NCO pool were we would swim, play and make friends all day. The hospital, where I went through years of allergy shots because of a reaction I had to a bee sting so many years ago. I still enjoy visiting the Fort, dining at the Deadrise and visiting the Chamberlain for happy hour with the Residents. It is still a place full of happy memories for me.
- Growing up on Fort Monroe (5/18/2017)
I was born at the post hospital on March 9, 1948 and soon baptized at St Mary’s Star Of The Sea. My first home was the NCO quarters beside the Rectory. My father was career Army. We then left when my father was posted to Hong Kong but returned to Ft Monroe on his return. We lived on Pratt St until we were posted to Patch Barracks in Germany. Again on return to Ft Monroe we lived at 23 Murray St until my father retired in 1962. We then moved to Newport News while my father worked a civilian job at Ft Eustis, but returned to Hampton for me to be a part of the first class to graduate with 3 years at Kecoughtan High School. Many of my classmates were friends and kids who still lived at Ft Monroe. Growing up at Fort Monroe, and in the army in general, had to be the greatest experience a kid could have. I have an amazing amount of memories and stories of living on the post. My first marriage was even held at St Marys. And believe me when I say the history of the post has never been lost on me and provided a huge basis for my patriotism and love of country. This upbringing served me well during my own service during Viet Nam and during my multiple careers afterwards.
- Haunted House (5/18/2017)
As an “Army Brat” I was lucky enough to spend my final 2 years of High School living at 36 Ruckman Rd,, inside the moat just adjacent to the beautiful Chapel of the Centurion. Loved the fact that according to a “Ghosts of Ft Monroe” pamphlet, our quarters had been reported as haunted in the past; and in particular my bedroom, upstairs at the back of the house. Never saw a ghost myself, but loved being part of that history! Hope Hampton residents continue to maintain this historic site.
- Wonderful Duty Station (5/18/2017)
Stationed there from 1986 to 1991. Remember doing PT runs on the sea wall, past the NCO club and onto Dog Beach. We played soccer inside the moat for PT. Easter sunrise services were held in Continental Park with the sun coming up on the Chesapeake. I was in the CG’s (Gen Foss) Command Planning Group that had our offices in the first floor rooms of the old Chamberlin hotel along with the many liaison officers. We climbed out of our windows onto the roof to watch the US Navy battleships come back for the last time from the Gulf War. Great memories of people, events, and a very historic post! Feel so special to have a part in its history.
- Born Here (5/18/2017)
I was born on Fort Monroe when it was still and active army fortress. I lived all around the world and returned to the area more than once. My oldest sister was married at the Chapel of the Centurian, and I worked for Fort Monroe Credit Union for many years. Last summer I returned to the area to visit my folks, and it was my first visit to the fortress since it had been decommissioned. I was glad to see her still in good shape and am hopeful for her future.
Please take good care of this beautiful piece of history!
- My house was right there (7/25/2016)
My father (USAF, Sr. Master Seargent) was stationed at Fort Monroe when I was a child. Fort Monroe is the first home I remember and I have many fond memories. Courtesy of Google Earth I was able to pin-point precisely where our house was…..pretty cool! The rich history of the Fort, the beautiful beaches, the ghost stories, the many trees my brother and I would climb on our way back from the PX where we would get a snack and spend the day wandering around the base. My first school was just down the block where Mrs. Flemming was my kindergarten teacher. My father’s office was around the corner and the NCO Wive’s club where my mother was the president wasn’t far. My big sister was married on base to a Marine whose father was in the Army, best man was in the Navy and one of the groomsmen was in the Coast Guard…….extreme military wedding!
- Many fond memories (4/11/2016)
What a great page. Brought back so many memories of my time there. My father was an E-8 assigned to TRADOC from 1972 through 1979. We lived at 23 Murray St. across from the Corps of Engineers building. My Mother was obsessed with winning “Yard of the Month”
We rode our bikes everywhere in the summer. I learned to swim and rollerskate at the YMCA. The Y had a “Summer Fun Club”. We sold candy to raise funds for it in the spring. Then during summer vacation, we would be taken on trips to places like Bush Gardens, Kings Dominion as well as historic places like Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg.
There were always plenty of activities for the “brats” including soccer and baseball leagues. We also had a movie theater and of course the beach.
My first dog is buried in the pet cemetery on top of the moat.
I have so many fond memories of such a special place.
- Prisoner of Fort Monroe (3/15/2016)
My ancestor, Jonathan C. Caudill, was imprisoned and died at Fort Monroe during the Civil War. He was with the 22nd North Carolina Infantry in Company F.
- Ms Kathleen E. de Russy (3/15/2016)
Since my ancestors played a part in the history of Fortress Monroe,I’m looking forward to visiting in May 2016. I’m reviewing my DAR and other family records so I have the facts correctly positioned. Hope to see everything soon.
- Born at Fort Monroe (3/15/2016)
My father was stationed at Fort Monroe in 1944 before being shipped to Europe. My mother and sister lived there with him during that period, and I was born in the Army Hospital there in August, 1944. I would be interested to know where the hospital was/is located.
I visited Fort Monroe several years ago with my wife, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. It is truly a national treasure, and should be preserved as such.
- Cpl Richard Stewart, US Army (9/28/2015)
After having completed Basic Training at Ft Gordon,GA, I was assigned to Ft Monroe to duty in the communication dept of the Hqtrs of Continental Army Command. Our billets were on the parade ground. I worked outside the moated area reached by footbridge. Once, during a strong storm, the water in the moat reached the paving of the bridge. I was not there very long but remember the fort.
- SFC (Ret) (9/28/2015)
I had the great pleasure of having my retirement ceremony on Continental Park. We lived in the leased housing buildings at the north end of the base across from the O’ Club. These buildings are now gone. We loved the view. This was such a clean and beautiful post. Our little Commissary had almost everything you needed. If they didn’t, let them know and they would have it for you the next day. Sunday Brunch at the O’ Club was fantastic. The view, the people, the many stories ( Ghosts) about this post. We are so happy it has been handed over to the NPS and the FMA. Keep our History alive.
- Family, Faith & Country and Our Memories of Ft. Monroe (9/28/2015)
Ft. Monroe is a part of our special mental tapes of times past. Starting in 1935-39, my father was in the Coastal Artillery Corps @ VPI and their training was at Ft. Monroe. We stayed at the Chamberlain while waiting for housing in the 1950’s, returned for a second tour in the 1960’s. We would walk from St. Mary’s after school to CONARC to catch a ride home with Dad, Saturdays, we frequented the PX , the pool and movies for 25 cents.
My first dance was with the Army cadets & I was married at the Chapel of the Centurion. When my brother returned from Vietnam, he was stationed at Ft. Monroe. He, too, had a military wedding on base.
Upon return to Hampton in 1985, I introduced my children to music under the bandstand and the Christmas magic of Ft. Monroe. We live in Florida now, where the stars are bright but not as magical as the many stars at Ft. Monroe.
- son of capt.lewis lee millett m.o.h. station at ft. monroe 1952-1953 (9/28/2015)
We were and my brother timothy cliff millett were born at ft. monroe . I was born in 52 and tim in 53 at the fort hospital. where is the hosp. located?
- Cry Me a River (9/28/2015)
Pat and I had a guest visit our campground this memorial day weekend who has made a mission to travel this country in search of ways to make our waterways safer for future generations. He is the author of the book Cry Me a River. The writer is Steve Posselt.
Of course Fort Monroe offered a great place for his wife and himself to unwind and prepare for their next journey. Take the opportunity to read his book. I think you will be impressed with this man’s journey.
- Very Fond Memories (9/28/2015)
Lived there in 1983, graduated from Phoebus HS in 1984. I remember hanging out at the O’Club pool in the summer, the bowling alley, walking the sea wall, and sneaking out at night down the fire escape at our house. We lived in a great duplex at 2 Ruckman Road, right next to the YMCA. Very fond memories of this beautiful and historic place. Married my husband in the gazebo in 1999. Would love to take a trip back to see how much it has changed since the BRAC.
- Sp. 4 assigned to Headquarters Company; Hq. CONARC (4/10/2015)
Although I was only an enlisted man assigned to Ft. Monroe where enlisted men were outnumbered ten to one, I have many fond memories of being assigned there and working in the Adjutant General’s building with many fine officers and fellow enlisted men and civilians too. My oldest child was born in the base hospital in July of 1958. I have only been back on post once since that time and it was during the countries bicentennial and the Danish ship Danmark was there at that time. I am 80 years old now but I would like to visit Ft. Monroe one more time before it is too late.
- What Ft. Monroe is to Me (1/14/2015)
I was a army brat here from 1967 to 1970. I got my first bike in 1968 from the P.X. also I had my very first milk shake at the snack bar. I almost died there in 1968, I was 9. My brother and I wanted to runaway so we dug a cave near the moat in the field behind enlisted quarters. Under a big Granite stone old moat wall, the stone fell I was trapped while my brother dug me out. I was very scared, And never did that again. Then my dad went to Vietnam we stayed off post but we did everything on post still. The most fun was playing on Dog Beach hunting shells. This was the only post my dad was stationed at that was really fun.
- CAC School Instructor (10/2/2014)
Invented 3D depth range finder for firing against enemy ships.Was President of Officers Beach Club. Son Frank had much fun as a young man, mostly at the Officers’ Beach Club. He and many of his friends from here went later graduated from West Point.
- Fort Monroe, In My Heart Forever (5/2/2014)
I lived at Fort Monroe from 1963 to 1966 at 63 Ingalls Road. While attending a local college I worked at the Chamberlin Hotel for 3 summers conducting 2 hour daily walking tours of the fort.
The memories of living on the water with all the naval and commercial vessels passing by daily, and living the history of the fort while on my tours, has left Fort Monroe in my heart forever. Of all the places my family lived over my dad’s 30 year Army career this was by far the most memorable. Treat it with respect, please.
- Loved Every Minute (5/2/2014)
Arrived at Ft. Monroe in January 1964.What a change after Fort Knox, Fort Gordon and ASCCOM South Korea. I was here just a short time but loved every minute there. Also loved it in Phoebus, Hampton and Newport News. I miss all my friends and the times we had as honor guards.
Gene Lyttek . .
- Proud Army Brat (2/17/2014)
Lived at Fort Monroe for 2 yrs in the late 70’s. It was the BEST place of all the bases my Dad was stationed and the most hardest to leave. Everyday was a beautiful adventure, it was on the ocean and it was most like home. Hearing taps every night and the cannon going off, catching blue crab in the moat and walking around the top, the Casemate Museum, going out on the jetties and bringing home a BIG horseshoe crab in a wagon one day…ha Coming back home this June to visit and bringing friends to share the best place I ever lived !! God Bless Fort Monroe !! Always a part of me……..
- Fond Memories of One of Many Military Childhood Homes (2/17/2014)
We lived at 5 Moat Walk from 1956-58 when I was a 6-8 year old. Behind our 2 story attached apartment were the rear areas of the firehouse and the base hospital. Sometimes I used to run an elevator in the hospital for people (totally unnecessarily of course). With neighbor children, we broke a few hospital windows playing ball on their large rear lawn area. Went to Brownie meetings in a casement; and a swimming pool was inside the moat area I think too. Attended St. Mary Star-of-the-Sea Church, and it’s related elementary school on the mainland. Great memories living there. Hope to visit someday.
- Great Duty Station (2/17/2014)
I arrived at Ft Monroe in March 1966. I was a PFC assigned to the 559th MP Co. Fantastic place to serve. Spent off duty at Dog Beach, NCO Club on Friday nights, dancing with those charming Virginia young ladies. Volunteer for Vietnam and got my wish. Regret not staying at Monroe for a longer period, but would not have felt completely satisfied as a Soldier, had I not did my part overseas. Hope to return some day to that beautiful Fort.
- Army Brat Life (9/8/2013)
I lived on Ft. Monroe for 4 years in the 1970’s. This was the most wonderful place to be as a kid. It was safe and there was so much to do. I have fond memories of living right on the sea wall…the Officer’s Club pool…chasing sand crabs and fishing! I have returned twice since the 70’s and am still in love.
– Lynne Langman-Francisco
- Air Force on an Army Post (9/7/2013)
February 1978 we were returning to the USA after two years in Turkey. I was in the Air Force and was assigned to the 72nd TCF. We eventually got an apartment on the post facing Hampton Roads Bay. What a view!!!!
– Thomas Walden
- Simply a visitor (7/30/2013)
Recently in the Hampton area, a friend took me to visit the Fort. I have been counseling our troops for the past 5 years. I have been feeling some compassion fatigue lately. My son is deployed on his second tour. He is my only child. Sometimes my heart nearly fails within me, due to the brokenness I have seen in thousands of our warriors and in my own son. I walked around the fort and remembered why we are continuing to fight for our freedom. We can’t give up on freedom’s call. Too many before us have given all to protect it for my generation and those to come. Thank you for preserving what happened there and allowing weary ones to come here and remember. Let Freedom Ring.
– Dr. LuAnn Callaway
- My First Home (7/4/2013)
My life literally started at Ft. Monroe as I was born in the old post hospital. L&D was in the attic! When our father retired from the Army in 1962 we returned to Hampton to live; it was my mother’s childhood home. Her father, Daniel Allen Anthony, was the post engineer at Ft. Monroe in the 30’s and 40’s and helped save some of the old gun batteries during his tenure. Also he built the first Officer’s Beach Club- it was a log structure intended only to be used during the summer. The original fireplace is still part of the current building. As a teen I attended Girl Scouts meetings in one of the case mates, spent almost every summer day either at the Beach Club or Dog Beach, and attended many 4th of July concerts and fireworks displays. Even though I never physically live at Ft. Monroe, in my heart it is as much my home as any place I’ve ever lived.
– Ann Bartley Pinner
- Contemplating Fort Monroe (6/16/2013)
I lived on Fort Monroe as an “Army Brat” 1958 to 1961. It was a great place to live. Now as I approach retirement I have visited and am thinking about renting at the Fort.
– Bill Moore
- Bill’s Story (12/19/2012)
I grew up on Ft. Monroe. Learned to swim at the Officer’s Club pool, walked the Casemate, watched the fireworks and listened to the cannons at Fourth of July. I remember stopping every night on the way off post. We’d stand next to the car and listen as Taps played and the colors were struck – feeling awash in awe, wonder and pride. It’s where many of my happiest and most indelible memories were made. It’s where I learned the importance of family, friends and service. (more…)