Plan a Virtual Visit to Fort McHenry

virtual tour Millersville

Fort McHenry, located just 15 miles from The Elms at Old Mill, is one of the United States’ most iconic sites. Best known as the locality that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is a diverse and engaging experience. For a fun afternoon exploring history, take a virtual tour of the fort from our apartments in Millersville.

Overview

An excellent virtual tour gives visitors a 3D look inside the Fort’s buildings. Fort McHenry is a “star fort,” a design that maximizes lines of sight for personnel stationed at the star’s points.  Construction lasted from 1799 to 1802.  Within its brick walls were four barracks to house soldiers and officers. Though it was actively used as a military fort during several wars, it is best known for having been the site of a British attack during the war of 1812. In 1912, the last active garrison departed the fort, thus ending its military service.

Inside the Fort

The virtual tour allows visitors to explore buildings and exhibits firsthand. If you’ve never done a virtual tour this can take a little getting used to. At the bottom right there is a menu section that allows the visitor to toggle between floor plans and maps or first-person mode. Throughout the tour there are various “touchstones” that when hovered over provide detailed information about features, artifacts, etc. 

Virtual Tour of the Grounds

The Chesapeake Conservancy has also created a virtual tour of the fort’s trails and grounds, similar to Google Street View, so you can take a “stroll” right from our Millersville apartments. This tour takes the visitor on a long loop around the grounds and also offers maps of the Baltimore Inner Harbor, Patapsco River, and Baltimore and Patapsco River Ports. There are tons of features to discover on this tour, so take your time and have fun. 

Films

There are also several films available for online viewing, including a cannon firing demonstration and battery firing. These give a glimpse of what a soldier’s daily life and combat were like. Spoiler alert: there’s lots of smoke!  The Visitor Center Film (about 10 minutes long) focuses primarily on Frances Scott Key and the Battle of Baltimore. Its historical dramatizations and narration summarize the fort’s significance. 

Webcam & Photo Gallery

There is also a webcam providing a 24-hour live-stream of the grounds. This is a good way to get a sense of what goes on at the fort and see reenactors going about the business of 19th-century fort life.  The photo gallery features detailed images of the fort, grounds, and reenactors, both military and civilian. 

Fort McHenry played a role in several wars and is meticulously maintained by the National Park Service to provide visitors with a memorable and enjoyable experience. It is one of many nearby attractions available to Millersville residents to virtually explore, such as the Maryland Science Center.  We’d love to show you all that The Elms at Old Mill has to offer. Contact us to find out more about our community. 

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