HAMPTON, Va. — Fort Monroe is known for its idyllic waterfront views and rich history, and now there’s more to be unearthed, thanks in part to a grant from the National Park Service.
Fort Monroe now has $75,000 in federal grant money to investigate Fort George, a masonry fort built around 1728. It was mainly used for defensive purposes.
“It was also here as a place where merchant ships and others came to offload things, including slaves, and including other goods, so it’s part of that history for Virginia and the United States,” said archeologist Paul Presenza.
He said they're planning on focusing on the area around the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse to get a better understanding of the locations of the inner and outer walls of the fort.
The grant money will be used for research, physical excavations, survey work and curating artifacts. They're expecting to learn more about the Native Americans, colonists, and enslaved Africans.
Presenza said the historical significance could rival that of Jamestown.
“You’re not going to find a lot of places that have the continuity starting from 1608 all the way up to the 1820s when they started to build Fort Monroe, so it’s a fairly significant spot,” said Presenza.
The goal is to have a clearer picture of Fort George and the people who lived there by the semiquincentennial anniversary of our nation, which is in 2026.