Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia Remains Open for Business

Share Article

The Casemate Museum, located inside the walls of historic Fortress Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, is open for business! Though the army deactivated the instillation on September 15, the Casemate Museum remains open and continues to welcome visitors with a thirst for Civil War history, the contraband slave decision, the Battle of the Ironclads, and more.

Jefferson Davis' cell inside the Casemate Museum.

“A formal agreement between the U.S. Army and the Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) allows the Casemate Museum to remain open to the public,” said Casemate Museum Director Paul Morando.

The Casemate Museum, located inside the walls of historic Fortress Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, is open for business! Though the army deactivated the instillation on September 15, the Casemate Museum remains open and continues to welcome visitors with a thirst for Civil War history, the contraband slave decision, the Battle of the Ironclads, and more.

“A formal agreement between the U.S. Army and the Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) allows the Casemate Museum to remain open to the public,” said Casemate Museum Director Paul Morando. “TRADOC will provide museum personnel to curate the display collection, whereas the FMA will manage the facility, including utilities, security, and landscaping.”

The Casemate Museum, opened in 1951 (the museum celebrated its 60th Anniversary June 2011), chronicles the history of Fort Monroe and the Coast Artillery Corps, with special emphasis on the Civil War. Each Casemate, defined as a “fortified position or chamber or an armored enclosure”, showcases 19th and 20th century artifacts including artists renderings, uniforms, medical equipment, weapons, and more. Recent upgrades to the museum include interpretative panels that, according to Morando, “craft a whole new experience for visitors. “To the delight of many guests, the museum is absolutely free.

“In today’s economy, student tour groups should take advantage of anything that is educational and free,” said Robin G. Parker President of Orlando-based Kaleidoscope Adventures and frequent visitor of Hampton and the Casemate Museum. “This helps keep the overall cost for students as low as possible. The Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe is two hours of free! What a value!”

In addition to its artifacts and cost-friendliness, the museum also houses the actual room where Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned during the Civil War. Located across the street from the Casemate is Lee’s Quarters, the actual house Robert E. Lee lived in while stationed at Fort Monroe. Other additional landmarks are within easy walking distance of the museum, making it the perfect destination for a self-guided walking tour.

“The fact that the museum will remain open is a positive first step in establishing Fort Monroe as a major tourist attraction. It’s the only place where you can learn about Fort Monroe’s rich history and now there’s an opportunity to advertise and market the museum to a wider audience,” said Morando.

Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe
Bernard Road
Fort Monroe
(Hampton, Virginia)
23651
Free
Open daily, year-round 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

For group tour information on the Casemate Museum, contact Bruce Newton at 800/487-8778 ext 5319 or bnewton(at)hamptoncvb(dot)com. For general inquiries, try the Hampton Visitor Center at 800/800-2202.

The largest stone fort ever built in the United States; Fort Monroe was formerly the headquarters of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. A Union-held bastion during the Civil War, Fort Monroe helped shelter thousands of slave refugees and became known as Freedom’s Fortress. The fort is also the site of the first arrival of Africans in British North America and houses the cell where Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned during the Civil War. The army will vacate Fort Monroe on September 15, 2011, and current negotiations call for making Fort Monroe, or portions of the fort, a National Park.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ryan LaFata

Mike Carruthers