Fort Mifflin is preparing for an eventful summer that aims to enthrall and teach visitors about the fort’s storied history.
Those looking to escape the bars and restaurants on the Delaware waterfront will delight in venturing to this serene location on the river.
It is located several miles away from the city’s most popular historical site, Independence Hall, yet this centuries-old establishment played an equally vital role in the city’s history.
The fort was commissioned in 1771 to protect Philadelphia and the surrounding area from invading forces. A twin, Fort Mercer, is directly across the river.
The fort’s most infamous battle took place in November 1777 during the American Revolution. Between November 10 and 15, a siege from the British Army forced the Americans to evacuate the fort and the British were able to invade Philadelphia.The efforts of the Americans at Fort Mifflin held off the British long enough for the Continental Army to devise and strengthen tactics.
“Without [the fort], we’d be having the Queen’s picture on our walls and money,” said Michael Kalichak, a tour guide at the fort.
During the American Civil War, Fort Mifflin was used as a prison to house war prisoners in its casemates.
The United States Army decommissioned Fort Mifflin in 1962 and turned over ownership to the City of Philadelphia.
This summer’s visitors will have the opportunity to take part in more hands-on, interactive activities that are not available in the winter months.
The month of June is packed with events commemorating historical events of the 19th century.
One will be a War of 1812 event which features living history activities, displays and a scavenger hunt. There will be a bicentennial celebration of the Star-Spangled Banner and Fort Mifflin’s unique relationship with Baltimore’s Fort McHenry will be explored.
Independence National Historical Park’s Stars and Stripes Festival will have an event at Fort Mifflin on June 14 to celebrate Flag Day and the Army’s birthday. There will be a birthday cake at the fort from noon until 2PM.
The third Friday of every month this summer will host a “Paranormal Friday” event. A guided tour, paranormal workshop and small group investigations of the fort’s “paranormal hotspots” will be explored.
Fort Mifflin will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located off of Exit 15 on I-95 at Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads on the Delaware River.
– Text, video and images by Hayley Condon