Spanish-American War-Related Sites to Visit

By Patrick McSherry


If you know of a Spanish-American War related site open to the public please let us know by E-mail!

Dewey's Flagship, OLYMPIA needs your help!! Click here to learn how you can help!
For sites with memorial pieces from the USS MAINE check our MAINE page 

CUBA

Jose Marti's Birthplace, Calle Leonor Perez, No. 314, Havana, Cuba

Jose Marti was a Cuban poet and journalist who was the heart of the Cuban Insurrection. He had been be imprisoned for his anti-Spanish writings, and travelled to Europe before eventually coming to live in the United States. Here he continued his work to remove the Spanish from Cuba. With the outbreak of the Cuban Insurrection, he returned to Cuba to become the spiritual leader of the Insurrection until being killed in action on May 20, 1895. The museum contains the belongings of Marti, as well as his manuscripts, etc. To learn more about this site, visit http://www.usacubatravel.com/cuoldartmarti.htm

Antonio Maceo's Birthplace, Calle Los Maceo, No. 207, Santiago, Cuba

Antonio Maceo was one of the leaders of the Cuban Insurrection against Spain, fighting in both the Ten Years War, and against Spain prior to the intervention of the United States. Maceo was killed in battle on December 7, 1895 at the age of 51. He had suffered 26 gunshot wounds in his military career. The museum now contained within his birthplace contains artifacts of his career. http://www.1click2cuba.com/ACTIVITIES/ART-MUSEUMS/STOmuseums.html

PHILIPPINES

Fort San Felipe (Sangley Point Naval Base), Cavite

Fort San Filipe is a an old Spanish fortification on Sangley Point dating back to 1609. The fortification is made of granite, and has walls which are approximately thirty feet high. A stairway leads to the upper level of the structure where a museum contains exhibits concerning the navy and its influence on Philippine history. Antique ordnance and projectiles can be seen on the lawn.

Monument to Andres Bonofacio, Cavite

Andres Bonofacio became the president of the "Katipunero" or "Society of the Sons of the People (of the Philippines) in January 1896 and began planning an uprising against the Spanish. A power struggle developed, and Aguinaldo had Bonofacio court-martialed. He was executed on May 10, 1897. The house where Bonifacio was court martialed now contains a memorial to Bonofacio "the Father of the Philippine Revolution" (Maragondon).


UNITED STATES


PUERTO RICO

San Juan

Visit the sights of Old San Juan, such as San Felipe del Morro Fort, Fort San Cristóbal (the largest fortification ever built by the Spanish in the New World), El Cañuelo and the city walls. For more information see the website of the National Park Service at http://www.nps.gov/saju/forts.html
 

ALABAMA

Pond Spring (Joseph Wheeler Plantation), Hillsboro, Alabama.

Visit the site of the famous general who served in both the Spanish American War and the American Civil War. To find out more about the site, visit http://www.wheelerplantation.org/
 

CALIFORNIA

San Francisco

San Francisco National Cemetery

The San Francisco National Cemetery holds the remains of several famous individuals from the Spanish American War. They include Frederick Funston (a Congressional Medal of Honor winner who served with Cuban Insurrectionists and also as an officer in the American army. He served in both Cuba and the Philippines), William Thompkins (a private in the 10th Cavalry who won the Congressional Medal of Honor), and William Shafter (the overall commander of the U.S. troops serving in Cuba during the War). See http://www.nps.gov/prsf/prsfphot/cemetery.htm

Presidio of San Francisco

The Presidio of San Francisco is an historic site with 470 historic structures on a 1,491-acre site. Among the structures are the five brick barracks on Montgomery Street, built between 1895 and 1897. Some of these buildings were used as a temporary hospital during the Spanish American War. The 1896 Lombard Gate, through which Philippines-bound troops marched to their ships, is still there. The Spanish Ordonez gun (similar to an American Rodman gun) is a Spanish American War trophy from Subic Bay in the Philippines. Legend says that its muzzle was blown off by a direct hit from the USS Charleston, but some experts think the gun merely exploded. There is also a monument to the 51th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. For more information, call (415) 561-4323 or visit the site's website at http://www.nps.gov/prsf/history/spanish_american_war.htm.

Pier 70 in San Francisco is the site of the Union Iron Works where the two most famous naval vessels of the Spanish American War - the U.S.S. OLYMPIA and U.S.S. OREGON were constructed. The original buildings still remain. Some are still being used as part of the San Francisco dry-docks operation. Others are boarded up and waiting for their fate to be decided by the port of San Francisco. One of the old slips, where the ships were built can be viewed  The Union Iron Works Machine Shop, where parts were fabricated for the ships, can be seen online by clicking here . A web tour of the Union Iron Works building is available online by clicking here. Just up the street from the machine shop,at the intersection of 20th and Illinois Streets, one can see the the old Olympia Hotel, named for the famed cruiser, with the lettering still on the side of the historic building. Free monthly tours are available through San Francisco City Guides (a non-profit project of the City Public Library). For more information on the tours, click here.
 

CONNECTICUT

New London

Two guns from the REINA CRISTINA are in place in front of the United States Coast Guard Academy's Hamilton Building. To see the guns, click here.
 

FLORIDA

 Key West Cemetery - Margaret & Angela Streets, Key West

This cemetery holds the remains of a number of the victims of the MAINE

  

The Key West Cemetery (Courtesy of Robert Conner)

Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House - Key West

The second floor gallery "occupies the old courtroom in which the Navy held its official inquiry into what caused the explosion that sunk the U.S.S. Maine, the battleship that went down in Havana harbor in 1898 and touched off the Spanish-American War."  For more info. see http://www.kwahs.com/customhouse.htm

Hotel Tampa Bay, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa

This Hotel was the command center as the troops were concentrated for the invasion of Cuba. On its verandas, old enemies of the American Civil War met as officers of the new invading army. Officers' family joined them at this famous location. The picturesque four storey hotel is now the home of the University of Tampa. The building contains the Henry B. Plant Museum. Plant was the railroad magnate who owned the hotel and the single-track rail line that served the military forces in the area. For more information see http://www.inusa.com/tour/fl/tampa/plant.htm

Fort DeSoto, in Pinellas County, at the entrance to Tampa Bay - (727) 582-2267

Fort De Soto, the construction of which began in 1898, has the only four 12-inch seacoast rifled mortars (model 1890 mounted on 1896 carriages) in the continental United States. Also at the fort are two 6-inch Armstrong rapid-fire rifled guns (model 1898) which were originally mounted at Fort Dade, and are the last two guns of that model year in the United States. The site often has Spanish American War living historians who aid in bringing the site back to life. For more information, visit their website by clicking here!

Fort Dade, in Hillsborough County's Egmont Key State Park, is open to visitors who arrive by private boat or commercial ferry. Visitors can view the restored guardhouse and the batteries built in 1898 to protect the mouth of Tampa Bay. For more info., call (727) 893-2627.  tro see some views of the site, click here!
 

GEORGIA

Fort Screven, Tybee Island (912) 786-4077

This fort was built in 1875, but was manned during the Spanish American War. The Tybee Museum is within the fort, located in an 1898 Coastal Artillery Battery. For more information, see http://www.sip.armstrong.edu/Tybee/FortScreven.html
 

IOWA

Ottumwa - One of the guns of the INFANTA MARIA TERESA is located in  Greater Ottumwa Park's campground at the intersection of South Wapello Street and Highway 34. For more information, click here and scroll down.
 

KANSAS

Iola - Boyhood Home and Museum of Major General Frederick Funston, Iola Kansas. Excellent museum devoted to Cuban insurrecto, Colonel of the 20th the Kansas and Medal of Honor receipent Major General Frederick Funston. The museum focuses on many interesting aspects of Funston's life besides his military service, including his days an explorer and botanist in Death Valley and Alaska. The restored late 19th-century farmhouse (moved to the Iola town square in 1994 by members of the Allen County Historical Society) gives visitors a brief glimpse at the life of a typical Kansas farm family The Museum contains excellent exhibits and displays, a film and a research library.

Iola is located about 40 miles west of Fort Scott, Kansas, and 100 miles southwest of Kansas City. Please see http://skyways.lib.ks.us/museums/funston/geninfo.html for museum hours, directions and more information.
 

MAINE

Bar Harbor - In the town park overlooking the docks are two 10" columbiad ("Rodman") cannons. These cannons had been placed on Egg Rock, an island off the coast, to protect the entrance to the harbor in 1898. They were later removed to Bar Harbor and to their present location.
 

MARYLAND

Fort Washington, Oxon Hill (301)763-4600

Fort Washington was originally built to replace a fortification that was destroyed in the War of 1812, and enlarged over the years. One of the last updates to the fortification involved was the construction of a two gun battery in front of the masonry fort, overlooking the Potomac River. The reinforced concrete emplacements that once held 2 four inch guns are all that remain of the Spanish American War era improvements.

United States Naval Academy, Annapolis

The Naval Academy has a variety of sites of interest. The salvaged foremast of the USS MAINE is in place along the Severn River wall. Guns taken from both the Spanish cruisers VIZCAYA and the MARIA TERESA after the Battle of Santiago are on display on the grounds of the college. The Academy also has a museum and a visitors' center showing the history of the institution. These facilities contain exhibits on the many famous naval personnel and weapons used in the Spanish American War.
 

MASSACHUSETTS

Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston

The Charlestown Navy Yard was an early shipbuilding center. By the time of the Spanish American War, it had greatly diminished in activity, and was no longer used for shipbuilding. After years of virtual disuse as the navy dwindled in size, it came back to life as a manufacturing and repair center for the new steel navy of the 1890's. The Yard's ropewalk was still used and had supplied the rope for the U.S.S. DOLPHIN of the famous ABCD fleet in 1884. With the outbreak of the Spanish American War, the yard again came to life, with its 1,200 to 1,400 workers repairing fifty vessels for use by the U.S. Navy. The site is now a large museum showing all phases of shipbuilding and repair completed in the yard during its 174 year history. There are over fifty historic structures at this site, which is also home to the venerable U.S.S. CONSTITUTION, the U.S.S. CASSIN YOUNG and the NANTUCKET Lightship. For more information, see http://boston-navy-yard.visit-boston-massachusetts.com/

Lowell

A gun taken from the wreckage of the Spanish Cruiser VIZCAYA is on display at the Pollard Memorial Library. Click here to see the gun!

Springfield

TheSpringfield Armory provided small arms to the U.S. military small arms from 1794 to 1968, including the weapons used in the Spanish American War period such as the "trapdoor" and Krag rifles and carbines. The site is now a national historic site. Itbis located at  1 Armory Square, Springfield. For more information, call (413) 734-8551 or visit the site's website at http://www.nps.gov/spar/home.html
 

NEW JERSEY

Fort Mott

Fort Mott, in Fort Mott State Park, Salem County, (near Pennsville, Exit 1 on the New Jersey Turnpike) was used in the defenses during the Spanish American War, with the present fortifications having been built in 1896. Mines were apparently strung across the river from the fort to aid in the nation's defense. Visitors can tour the fort, learning about its history through interpretive signage. For more information about the site, call (609) 935- 3218 or visit its website at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/forestry/parks/fortmot.htm

Sandy Hook, in the Gateway National Recreation Area, was an important proving ground for 1890s seacoast artillery. Its Battery Potter, built in 1893 for two 12" guns, was the nation's only steam-lift battery. Its mortar batteries, completed in 1894, had four 12" seacoast mortars. In 1899, the military section of Sandy Hook was expanded and given the name Fort Hancock, but it contains many fortifications that both predate and postdate the Spanish American War. For more info., call (732) 872-0115.
 

NEW MEXICO

The Las Vegas City Museum

The Museum.located at 725 Grand Avenue, Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701 (Phone: 505 425-8726) has an exhibit on the Rough Riders who, for years, held their reunions at Las Vegas. The exhibit has uniforms, buttons, bullets, photos, etc. Visit the museum website at http://www.moravalley.com/lv-mus/index.htm
 

NEW YORK

Montauk Point, Long Island

This was the location of Camp Wykoff, the quarantine camp to which the troops arriving home from Cuba were sent to verify that they were free of communicable diseases such as yellow fever before releasing them into the general population. It was at Camp Wykoff that many of the regiments, such as the Rough Riders, mustered for their last time in the federal service. The site is now part of a park called Theodore Roosevelt County Park. The link for the park is http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/webtemp1.cfm?dept=10&id=888

Palmyra - This is the hometown of William Sampson. In the village park is a gun removed from the Spanish vessel, Oquendo, destroyed at the naval Battle of Santiago.

Sagamore Hill - Oyster Bay

Sagamore Hill was the where Theodore Roosevelt called home from 1889 until his death . This was the place where his family dwelled and where Roosevelt truly considered to be his home even while serving as the assistant secretary of the Navy, and as Colonel of the "Rough Riders". It was at this home where he was notified that he had been nominated for governor of New York in 1898, vice-present in 1900, and president in 1904. http://www.liglobal.com/t_i/saghill and http://www.nps.gov/sahi/

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, New York City

The reconstructed birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt is a National Park site that can be visited. http://www.nps.gov/thrb/

West Point Military Academy

Many of the officers in the U.S. Amry trained at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The Academy has an excellent museum. For more informaton, please call (845) 938-4011 or visit the Museum's website at http://www.usma.edu/Museum.
 

NORTH CAROLINA

Bogue Banks, NC - Fort Macon, a large, five-sided brick fort built between 1829 and 1834 was regarrisoned during the Spanish American War. For information on the fort, see http://www.clis.com/friends/default.htm. For info. on the fort during the Spanish American War, click here!
 

OHIO

Birthplace of William McKinley, 40 N. Main Street, Nile (330) 652-1704

William McKinley, President of the United States during the Spanish American War was born in Niles in 1843. Now the site is occupied by a monumental museum which contains artifacts from McKinley's presidency. http://www.mckinley.lib.oh.us/memorial.htm

Miami Valley Military History Museum, Building 120, Dayton VA Medical Center

The Miami Valley Military History Museum located on the VA Medical Center campus in Dayton Ohio has artifacts of the Spanish American War on display. Admission is free.
 

PENNSYLVANIA

Grave of Captain Gridley, Erie

Captain Charles V. Gridley, the commander of the Cruiser OLYMPIA at the Battle of Manila Bay, is buried in Lakeside Cemetery. Gridley, already in poor health prior to the battle, was hastened to his death by the effects of the battle. He died in Japan, on his way home to the United States. Gridley was immortalized in Dewey's famous statement "You may fire when ready, Gridley" at Manila Bay.

USFS OLYMPIA, Penns Landing, Philadelphia (215) 925-5439

The USFS OLYMPIA, Admiral Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay can be visited at Penns Landing. The vessel is the sole survivor of the battlefleets of the Spanish American War era, and only one of three warships from the period to still exist worldwide! The visitor can wander through three of the vessel's decks, and get a feel for what life was like on board a warship of the period. http://www.libertynet.org:80/~seaport/
 

RHODE ISLAND

Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport (401) 841-4052

The Naval War College, still a new innovation at the time of the Spanish American War, was originally run by Commodore Stephen Luce and then by Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan. This was the center of the new ideas concerning the growth of the U.S. Navy, and its need to become an ocean-going, deep water navy. It was here where Mahan first delivered his lectures on seapower which were later published as the famous work "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783." The original Founders Hall still stands, and serves as the museum. The museum has exhibits on the evolution of the modern navy, and the growth of the college. http://www.nwc.navy.mil/museum/
 

SOUTH CAROLINA

The Battery, Charleston

The Battery, a park along Charleston's historic waterfront, has two items of interest. First, the park has one of the capstans from USS MAINE. Secondly, the park has a 1.5 inch rapid-fire gun which was apparently taken from a captured Spanish naval vessel during the war.

Battery Huger, Fort Sumter, Charleston

Within the walls of old Fort Sumter, a famous site from the American Civil War, is the immense Battery Huger. Though completed immediately after the Spanish American War, she shows the state of the art of coastal defense during the War. Sitting in the parade ground of the fort, and spanning its entire length, Battery Huger is a huge concrete gun emplacement which held two 12 inch breechloading rifles which were to help defend the Charleston Harbor entrance. The guns themselves have been removed. Today, part of the gun emplacement houses the site's museum.

Battery Jasper, Fort Moultrie, Charleston

Located just outside of Fort Moutrie, Battery Jasper is a large concrete gun emplacement which housed four ten Inch disappearing guns. These guns could fire a 570 pound shell up to 8 miles. Visitors can wander through the structure which contains magazines, ammunition hoists,v battery commander viewing area, etc. Eventually, the battery will be restored, though the guns will probably not be re-installed.

Fort Moultrie, Charleston

Contained within the walls of this historic fort is a series of exhibits showing the evolution of seacoast fortification ordnance. One of the exhibits shows the ordnance that is typical of the Spanish American War era, including 4.7 inch rifles, 15 inch rifles and older 15 inch Rodman guns in emplacements typical for each gun.
 

VERMONT

State Capitol Building, Montpelier

The front of the building is flanked by two large Krupp cannon salvaged from the Spanish Cruiser CASTILLA, sunk at the Battle of Manila Bay.
 

VIRGINIA

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington

Arlington National Cemetery has a variety of sites of interest to the Spanish American War historian. One of the most famous sites in the Cemetery is the USS MAINE plot. This area holds the graves of 62 known and 167 unknown crewmen lost in the explosion of the USS MAINE. The site is marked with the mainmast of the USS MAINE, which was salvaged and brought to the cemetery. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/visitor_information/USS_Maine.html

Elsewhere within the cemetery is a monument to all of the soldiers and sailors who died in the Spanish American War. Another monument is dedicated to the Spanish American War nurses. A third monument dedicated to the Theodore Roosevelt's "Rough Riders." (this monument readsAt Arlington National Cemetery there is a Rough Riders Monument. It reads: "ROUGH RIDERS'/ IN MEMORY OF/ THE DECEASED MEMBERS/ OF THE 1st U.S./ VOLUNTEER CAVALRY/SPANISH AMERICAN WAR/ERECTED BY THE MEMBERS AND/FRIENDS OF THE REGIMENT/1906 " See http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/visitor_information/Rough_Riders.html

The cemetery also holds the remains of many Spanish American War veterans and heros, including General John J. Pershing, naval hero Richmond Hobson, Admiral William Sampson (overall naval commander at the Battle of Santiago), Bradley Fiske (Spanish American War naval officer and inventor) and the first colonel of the "Rough Riders," Leonard Wood.

Norfolk, VA

The Hampton Roads Naval Museum has a permanent exhibit on the activities of the Flying Squadron during the Spanish American War. For more information, see http://www.hrnm.navy.mil/
 

WASHINGTON D.C.

Grave of Admiral George Dewey - National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW (202-537-6200). Admiral George Dewey, was the commander of the U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron which defeated the Spanish Pacific naval forces at the Battle of Manila Bay is buried in the Cathedral's Bethlehem Chapel. The Chapel was completed in 1912, and is the site of daily services. http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/index.shtml

Leutze Park - Washington Navy Yard, 901 M Street

Leutze Park contains naval ordnance from many time periods, including pieces captured from Spain during the Spanish American War. http://www.history.navy.mil/visit/visit6.htm

Navy History Museum - Washington Navy Yard, 901 M Street SE

This museum, which presents an overview of the history of the U.S. Navy, contains exhibits on the growth of the new steel navy and the U.S. Navy's actions during the Spanish American War. The museum itself is located within the former breech mechanism shop of the Naval Gun Factory, which was built between 1887 and 1899, corresponding to rise of the new steel navy. The museum contains about 48,000 square of display area, housing approximately 5,000 artifacts. http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/org8-2.htm



Click to visit the website bibliography or the website video bibliography

Thanks to the following who have aided in this page:

Dailey, Lester - info. on Fort Dade and Fort Desoto, Florida; the Presidio of San Francisco; the Springfield Armory, Massachusetts; the West Point Museum, New York, and Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Wiegand, Joe - Info. on the guns from the CASTILLA in Montpelier, VT

Wisniewski, Natalie, Ph.D.  - Info. on the Union Iron Works site in San Francisco, CA


Support this Site by Visiting the Website Store! (help us defray costs!)
We are providing the following service for our readers. If you are interested in books, videos, CD's etc. related to the Spanish American War, simply type in "Spanish American War" (or whatever you are interested in) as the keyword and click on "go" to get a list of titles available through Amazon.com.

Search:
Keywords:
In Association with Amazon.com

Visit Main Page for copyright data


Return Misc Info
Return to Main Page