Battery Ridge

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Battery Ridge (1873-1909) - Battery Ridge was a Post U.S. Civil War, 15 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Baker (1), Lime Point, Marin County, California. Deactivated about 1909.

Battery Ridge Facing Alcatraz
Battery Ridge Facing Pacific
Battery Ridge with Golden Gate Bridge in Background

Post U.S. Civil War (1866-1876)

Part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco.

Originally built as an 1870s System battery for the defense of San Francisco Harbor under the supervision of Colonel George Henry Mendell. Construction took place between 1871 and June of 1873 but the battery was not armed and the suspension of coastal defense funding in 1876 placed the battery in caretaker status without any cannon in place. Although some official documents refer to the nine gun emplacement as Battery Ridge, the builder of the battery referred to the four north most emplacements as Battery Ridge and the five south most emplacements as Battery Cliff. The battery was built with emplacements for nine smoothbore 15" Rodman cannons mounted on iron Barbette carriages. The five south most gun emplacements were 6" center pintle mounts while the four north most emplacements were 6" forward pintle mounts. Two earth covered brick magazines were built for the south most cannons and two for the north most cannons. The battery had a commanding view of the Golden Gate and, at 445', was one of the highest seacoast batteries in the country.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

At the beginning of the Endicott Period it was clear that the manufacture of the necessary guns , carriages and structures would take years and some temporary batteries would be necessary. It was decided that the first four emplacements of Battery Ridge would be armed with 15" Rodman smoothbore cannons and that the five remaining emplacements would be destroyed to make way for a new Battery Spencer. The 15" Rodman smoothbore cannons were removed from the West Battery on Fort Point (3) to make way for the construction of Battery Cranston and Battery Miller. Four of these cannons were sent to Battery Ridge and mounted in July-September 1893. The five emplacements of Battery Cliff were never armed and they were destroyed in the construction of Battery Spencer. By 31 Dec 1909, the four 15" Rodman cannons were dismounted and the carriages had been dismantled and sold.

Battery Ridge Armament (edit list)
Empl
No
Caliber
Type
Barrel
Length
Model Serial
No
Manufacturer Carriage Service
Dates
Notes
1 15" Smoothbore Cannon 15" Rodman ? Unk Barbette, 6"
Front Pintle Mount
1893-1909 Mounted
July 1893
2 15" Smoothbore Cannon 15" Rodman ? Unk Barbette, 6"
Front Pintle Mount
1893-1909 Mounted
August 1893
3 15" Smoothbore Cannon 15" Rodman ? Unk Barbette, 6"
Front Pintle Mount
1893-1909 Mounted
September 1893
4 15" Smoothbore Cannon 15" Rodman ? Unk Barbette, 6"
Front Pintle Mount
1893-1909 Mounted
September 1893
5-9 15" Smoothbore Cannon 15" Rodman ? Unk Barbette, 6"
Center Pintle Mount
NA Not mounted?
Source: CDSG, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 180-181
Battery Ridge Plan 1892


Current Status

Part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA) administered by the National Park Service. No period guns or mounts in place. The 6" pintles can still be seen along with some portions of the pads.


Location: Fort Baker, Lime Point, Marin County, California

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.827894 Long: -122.481913

See Also:

Sources:

  • Thompson, Erwin N., Historic Resource Study Seacoast Fortifications San Francisco Harbor Golden Gate National Recreation Area California, National Park Service, Denver Service Center, May 1979, CDSG

Links:

Visited: 20 Aug 2009

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