No Way Out

On an island way out at the end of the Florida Keys they built a fort. Begun in 1846, Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas was constructed to both protect the shipping lanes leading to the Gulf Coast and to be a way station for friendly vessels. It was never completely finished and unable to store enough fresh water for a full compliment of troops. It did however fulfill much of its intended purpose.

The fort was also used as a prison. After the Civil War its most famous prisoner was Dr. Samuel Mudd, the doctor who set the broken leg of the fleeing John Wilkes Booth. (“… or your name is Mudd!”)

In this image, the open interior of the fort is to the left and the batteries are to the right. Looking down the length of this brick corridor, you can see a stalagmite-like deposit forming on the floor beneath a seeping arch.

All Photographs © 2020 John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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