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Fort Monroe Visitor & Education Center and Casemate Museum

The Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe is one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense
The Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe is one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense


Completed in 1834, Fort Monroe was originally designed to protect the Hampton Roads waterway from an enemy attack and is the largest stone fort in America.   Within the fort is the Casemate Museum, which chronicles the military history of Fort Monroe from the construction of Fort Algernourne, the first defensive fortification at the site in 1609, through the last major command to be headquartered at Fort Monroe, the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.  The museum features the room where Jefferson Davis was held briefly as prisoner following the American Civil War, highlights the 1861 “Contraband of War” decision that granted three enslaved men, and thousands who followed, sanctuary at Fort Monroe, earning it the nickname “Freedom’s Fortress.”


As we begin a gradual, phased reopening for the Fort Monroe’s Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and the Casemate Museum (CM), we are putting safety first with new measures in place to protect everyone’s health. Please review the important information below as you plan your visit. Visitors are encouraged to begin their Fort Monroe experience with an orientation at the visitor center and then enjoy a short walk through the historic fortifications to the museum.

• Open Thursday through Saturday 10 am – 3 pm. Free admission.
• The VEC and CM will be closed Sunday through Wednesday during this initial reopening phase.
• For the safety of our visitors and staff, groups larger than six (6) will be prohibited.
• All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. At least one adult is required to accompany up to five children.

Safety Measures
1. Not feeling well. If you are not feeling well, please stay home. If you are at an increased risk of severe illness, you may also want to consider staying home.
2. Face coverings. All visitors, ages six and older are REQUIRED to wear face coverings to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. We are requiring that visitors, ages six and older, wear face coverings at all times. Face coverings are also strongly recommended for visitors between the ages of two and six, per CDC guidelines. Face shields or any kinds of face covering or mask with an exhalation valve are not permitted. Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth.
3. Physical Distancing. We are implementing safe social distancing, including one-way paths and directional guidance. Please maintain a safe distance of six feet or more between individuals or household groups of six or less at all times. There will be social-distancing signage and directions throughout our facilities.
4. Hand sanitizing stations. We are providing hand-sanitizing stations for visitors throughout our facilities and conducting more frequent and enhanced cleaning.  Please wash and sanitize your hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene.
5. Number of visitors. We will be monitoring the number of people in the VEC and CM, to ensure there is ample space for visitors to move freely while maintaining a safe distance from others. 

Galleries and Interactives
We are evaluating our exhibits, interactives, and indoor spaces on a case-by-case basis. Some of these features may be closed or operate at limited capacity. Some interactives may not be available during the initial reopening phase. Some areas in the VEC and/or CM have narrow pathways, as well as low ceiling heights. We ask that visitors follow the one directional flow in these areas and we have posted signage accordingly for adequate physical distancing.

Shopping and Dining
• The Casemate Museum Store will remain closed during the initial reopening stages.
• Restaurants on Fort Monroe and in nearby Phoebus are open with outdoor seating and limited indoor seating during this time.

Tours and Programs
• The Fort Monroe self-guided walking tour has been updated and a new brochure is available.
• All on-site public tours are currently suspended. A limited capacity public evening program is being planned for October. Fort Monroe will also continue to offer virtual programs and experiences. Please check our upcoming events for specific dates and details.
• National Park Service Passport Stamp program and the Junior Ranger Program badge will be are available at the visitor center.

Driving Directions to the Museum

Personal vehicles:  Please note that GPS directions do not always route vehicles properly to the above address.  Directions to Casemate Museum

Tour buses:  Please note that over-sized vehicles cannot enter the inner fort.  Directions for bus drop-off are: Directions for Bus Parking


The Casemate Museum welcomes volunteers in many capacities including tour guides, museum greeters, and administrative assistants.
Application Procedure: Email or post the Casemate Museum Application to Jan Clapp Bomar, Visitor and Education Center Manager. Direct application inquiries to the same: 757-690-8073, email:
Museum Greeter Volunteer Position Description
Museum Tour Guide Volunteer Position Description
Casemate Museum Volunteer Application_fillable

Fort Monroe Authority/Casemate Museum has several internship opportunities available.
Application Procedure:
Email or post cover letter, application, resume, transcripts (unofficial), 2 academic/professional references, and availability to Amber Inwood, Education Program Manager, Casemate Museum. Direct application inquiries to the same: 757-690-8065, email:
Museum Studies Intern — Unpaid Position Description
Casemate Museum Volunteer_Intern Application_fillable2


Did you or someone you know live, work, or serve at Fort Monroe while it was an active military installation? If so we would love to hear from you. Please click on the link below to complete the “Faces of Fort Monroe” form.
Faces of Fort Monroe Form


The Fort Monroe Authority and the National Park Service are partnering to complete an Historic Structure Report (HSR) for the the Casemate Museum.  This work will continue through June 2015.  The HSR will create greater understanding of the Casemate Museum section of the fortification to help address ongoing structural and aesthetic issues in a manner sensitive to the historic structure and character of the Fort Monroe National Monument and National Historic Landmark.  Funding for this project is provided by the National Park Service and a grant from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment.  Click the link below to learn more about this project.

Historic Structure Report-Structural Monitoring and Testing at the Casemate Museum


Please download and read the article originally published in The Journal of the Tower & Street Clock, Chapter #134 – NAWCC, Issue No. 27.