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National Park Quiz 72: Forts

Most people just call it Fort McHenry, but that’s not the full name of the National Park System site that’s shown in this National Park Service photo.

1. True or false? Of the 391 national park names, more begin with “Fort” than any other single word.

2. True or false? None of the 58 National Park-designated National Park System units has a name that begins with the word “fort.”

3. True or false? Fort Donelson National Battlefield was established to preserve the sites of important Civil War battles won by Union troops under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman.

4. True or false? Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is situated in a state park and has no federal land or facilities.

5. True or false? Fort Laramie National Historic Site preserves the site of a fort that served as a major stop along the infamous “Trail of Tears.”

6. With which of the following outdoor dramas is Fort Raleigh National Historic Site most closely associated?
a. Unto These Hills
b. The Living Word
c. The Lost Colony
d. The Ramona Pageant

7. Now a component of Gateway National Recreation Area, ______ was America’s oldest continuously serving military installation when it was finally decommissioned in 1995.
a. Fort Hancock
b. Fort Wadsworth
c. Fort Point
d. Fort Stanwix

8. Fort Union National Monument is in New Mexico, but Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is located in
a. Idaho
b. Wyoming
c. Arizona
d. North Dakota

9. Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site features a reconstructed fur trading post that was originally built in 1833 and became a major trading and supply center on the
a. Santa Fe Trail
b. Oregon Trail
c. California Trail
d. Chisholm Trail

10. Established in 1972 to commemorate the bitter conflict between the Chiricahua Apaches and the U.S. military, ______ National Historic Site preserves the ruins of a Butterfield Stage Station as well as remnants of the historic fort.
a. Fort Bowie
b. Fort Larned
c. Fort Scott
d. Fort Davis

Extra Credit Question

11. People usually just say “Fort McHenry” when referring to the national park established to preserve the fort whose spirited defense inspired Francis Scott Key to compose The Star Spangled Banner. However, Fort McHenry is not the full name of this National Park System unit. Do you know the park’s full name?

Super Bonus Question:

12. In 1564, the French built a fort to protect a French Huguenot colony they established near present-day Jacksonville Florida. A year later, the Spanish massacred the French settlers, obliterated the fort, and built their own fort in its place. What National Park System unit preserves the site of the doomed French fort?


(1) True. There are 20 national parks with “fort” as the first word of their official name.

(2) True. In fact, “fort” does not appear anywhere in the names of the 58 National Park-designated National Park System units. Give yourself a mental pat on the back if you knew that Dry Tortugas National Park was formerly designated Fort Jefferson National Monument.

(3) False. It was General Ulysses S. Grant who captured Fort Donelson and Fort Henry early in the Civil War. This important achievement earned him the nickname “Unconditional Surrender Grant.” Fort Donelson National Battlefield preserves the sites of both forts.

(4) False. Located in Washington on the north bank of the Columbia River, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a stand-alone National Park System unit that features a replica of the historic Hudson’s Bay Company fort, including its internal buildings. Federally-owned land accounts for all but a few acres of the 210-acre site.

(5) False. Fort Laramie is in Wyoming and was not involved with the infamous removal of Indians (mostly Cherokee and Creek) from their eastern homelands to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma.

(6) c – The Lost Colony outdoor drama tells the story of Sir Walter Raleigh's attempt to establish the first English settlement in America (1584-1590). Fort Raleigh National Historic Site at Manteo, North Carolina, preserves the site of the failed settlement.

(7) b – Fort Wadsworth, which is situated on a Staten Island site overlooking the Narrows, served as an active military installation for nearly 200 years before being decommissioned in 1995.

(8) d -- Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, which preserves the site of the most important trading post on the Upper Missouri from the late 1820s until the late 1860s, is located in North Dakota near the town of Williston.

(9) a -- Bent’s Old Fort was situated on the Mexican-U.S. boundary in what is now southeastern Colorado. During much of its 16-year existence it was the only significant white settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between the Mexican settlements and the American settlements in southwestern Missouri.

(10) a – Fort Bowie National Historic Site in southeastern Arizona preserves the site of an Army post that played an important role in military operations that led to the surrender of the famed Apache leader Geronimo in 1886.

(11) The park is designated Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. It is the only one of the 391 National Park System units that has the word “shrine” as part of its official name.

(12) The Fort Caroline National Memorial, the only fort-themed National Park System unit that has been designated a National Memorial, preserves the site on which the French built their doomed fort. Although Fort Caroline National Memorial is counted as one of the 391 units of the National Park System, it is administered in association with Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passable fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.


Thank you for #10!

Great little quiz.

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