Did You Know...

Fun Facts about our Park

  • During the 1930's, the United States Coast Guard created a Search & Recue Base here on Winter Island Park.
  • The Frigate USS Essex was built and launched in 1799 from this location. It served General George Washington in the U.S. Navy.
  • The three bunkers located in historic Fort Pickering once stored ammunition as early as the Civil War.
  • Winter Island had Salem's first tavern and first shipyard. A fort was erected as early as 1643.
  • In 1867, the War department "turned over" to the city "for public use" the part of the island not occupied by the fort, until it should be wanted for defense.
  • On December 28, 1928, Salem's Park Department took formal possession of the island.
  • The fort was renamed Fort Pickering, after Colonel Timothy Pickering, Secretary of State and War in Washington's Cabinet.