Fort Mifflin
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Visited 8.10.2013

Visit the Fort Mifflin page here!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the United States' leading cities, if somewhat diminished in these trying times. I was born in Philadelphia, and since the city is just barely within semireasonable daytrip distance from my home base in Richmond, it seemed like the perfect birthday trip for myself in 2013.

Yes, a lengthy drive, but once again, Route 95 seems almost as though it was made for folks to comfortably travel up and down the east coast of these United States. Round trip for me, around 500 miles. Good thing gas is so inexpensive!
A leading city needs a leading starfort, and Fort Mifflin is most definitely in a class by itself, if for no other reason because of its incredibly weird shape! It's not a starfort, it's not a stabbyfort, it's a...sawtoothfort. Every starfort is unique in its own way, but the shape of Fort Mifflin makes it uniquer than most. Add to that the fort's history of singlehandedly defeating the British Empire in the American Revolution, and the indisputable fact that the place is haunted, and you have an absolute historical powerhouse in the shape of a sawtoothfort.
Fort Mifflin has a very active schedule of events that take place within its walls, as evidenced by the chatty monthly newsletters that I receive from Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, a newsletter for which I didn't actually sign up, but I did leave my card with the nice lady who took my six bucks to get into the fort, which I suspect may have played a part in this mystery. And the fort's official website,, is absolutely great.

All this being said, however, I was at first a little taken aback at the poor condition of Fort Mifflin upon my visit. Compared to every other starfort I've visited (and I've visited plenty), Fort Mifflin seems...depreciated. It's as though those in charge of keeping the place spiffy suddenly ran out of money to do so a couple of years ago.
This impression was mostly formed due to the delapidated office building (which had operated as the fort's hospital and a mess hall) across from the main gate, the first guardroom I came to inside the front gate, and the dreary little museum in the enlisted men's barracks.

Though I had the fort almost to myself when I visited, the place obviously gets a lot of action: Lots of visitors, lots of events, lots of general use, which is a good thing indeed for a place of such historical import. The more I prowled through Fort Mifflin, the more impressed I became with not only its range of structures from differnt eras, but also the fine condition in which much of it sits.
There are several buildings and magazines inside Fort Mifflin's walls that are in great shape. The only one I was unable to get into was the gift shop, which just about broke my heart, but I somehow found the fortitude to carry on.

There are additional things of an interesting nature directly outside the fort as well. After circumnavigating the fort (an adventure in itself because of its overgrown and marshy environs), I took a stroll along a promising-looking trail that runs between the fort and the mighty Delaware River.
Along this trail were remnants of a series of batteries that were built directly to Fort Mifflin's southwest in the 1870's, today just overgrown bits of brick, concrete and timber. Ducking low-flying airliners landing at the next-door Philadelphia International Airport, I also came across a bombproof that contained some actual startling spookiness!

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