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Friends of Old Fort Stevens

The Summer's End Music Series is a series of annual fundraisers held by the Friends of Old Fort Stevens, a not for profit 501(c)3 that works in partnership with Fort Stevens State Park. The events assist in raising funds for the continued restoration work as well as improved interpretation efforts incorporating historic Fort Stevens. The inaugural Summer's End Festival in 2022 brought in $42,000 with proceeds benefiting restoration efforts of the historic Fort Stevens Guardhouse. Put alongside General Obligation Funding received by Oregon State Parks and Recreation the work included repointing brick, restoring historic windows, replacing historic doors and plans for a new roof. More details below.

In 2023, the festival emphasized a focus to their music aspect by changing it's name to Summer's End Music Festival, profits from that festival benefited the continued restoration efforts of historic Battery Smur. The Friends of Old Fort Stevens hopes to use the funds to update and add new interpretative panels, restore the steel doors, and do some maintenance upgrades to get the battery looking it's best and help maintain its integrity for years to come.

Events this year, and going forward will benefit a new and exciting venture that the Friends of Old Fort Stevens is undertaking in partnership with Time Looper. We are excited to be working toward a fully immersive interpretive experience for our visitors. We are working on exciting new interpretive aspects including a future with a VR exhibit. These new exhibits will allow accessibility for tours such as the underground Battery Mishler tours as well as site wide walking tours and provide a more in depth, custom tailored, interpretive experience for all user groups. Stay tuned for more info!

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Benefit Fundraiser: Welcome


The Guardhouse was constructed in 1911. It was the center of activity for the fort. It is the last standing of the three identical buildings constructed in the United States that retains its original integrity.

Guards gathered here to report for duty and take orders. It also had a cell block for errant soldiers. Assaults, theft, drunkenness, and desertion were the most common offenses-and were notably more frequent after payday. Punishment at times included unpleasant daytime duties under escort.

The Guardhouse was the backbone of the fort during the uncertainty of both world wars. It is a unique building architecturally and signifies the efforts of the soldiers to defend the Columbia River over a span of more than 80 years.

Restoring the Guardhouse

Restoring and preserving the Guardhouse is a collaborative effort between Oregon State Parks and the Friends of Old Fort Stevens.

In 2019, FOOFS received a Preserving Oregon Grant from the State Historic Preservation Office for $20,000 to restore 5 of the windows and 2 exterior doors on the Guardhouse, a project that totaled approximately $40,000.

Funding and Fundraisers

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department recently received funds from the Oregon Legislature through General Obligation bonds. OPRD will be using an estimated $1-3 million of these funds to complete some much-needed repairs on the Guardhouse including a new roof, an upgrade in utilities to stop water infiltrating the basement, and installing new water, sewer, and electrical connections. Once the exterior of the Guardhouse has been completely restored, work on the inside can begin! There are countless projects that need to be completed on the Guardhouse in order to preserve it for future generations to honor previous generations.

Fort Stevens Guardhouse Restored Window
Fort Stevens Guardhouse Restored Front Doors
Fort Stevens Guardhouse
Benefit Fundraiser: About


Named after 3rd Lt. Elias Smur, who died of wounds received during the Battle of 1812, Battery Smur was built at Fort Stevens between Aug 1899 and Apr 1900 and was active for service on 28 Jun 1900. 

A concrete battery facing the Columbia River. The battery was built in 1900 to protect underwater mine operations in the Columbia River with two rapid-fire 3-inch rifles on mounts. The rooms on the lower level were used for a plotting room and for munitions and gunpowder storage for the battery. Battery Smur was deactivated in 1920 and the rifles removed and surplused.

During World War II, Battery Smur was used as storage. One of its rooms then also served as the tear gas chamber for training soldiers. 

Today, Battery Smur greets thousands of guests per year. It sits on the east end of the Fort Stevens State Park Historical Day Use Area. There is one replica gun in place, that was put in place in several years ago. A replica of the second gun has been built and was recently installed to give visitors an idea what the fully armed battery would have looked like from 1900-1920 with both it's 3 inch rifles.

Benefit Fundraiser: About
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