HISTORIC FORT DuPONT BALL FIELD
The Diamond State Base Ball Club practices and plays its most of its home matches at Fort DuPont State Park, near Delaware City, Delaware. Fort DuPont State Park is located on the shores of the Delaware River at the site of the original Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, near Delaware City, DE. The ball field is located off of Sussex Avenue, behind the former movie theatre and adjacent to the tennis courts.
DIRECTIONS TO FORT DUPONT
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Fort DuPont State Park charges an admission fee for Diamond State Base Ball Club matches.
FORT DuPONT HISTORY
During the War of 1812, cannons were mounted on the site to defend the river from British attack. The first permanent fortification on the site was constructed in 1863 as an auxiliary Civil War gun battery to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island and was part of the principal defense structure for the Delaware River. In those days, the site was called “The Fort Opposite” due its location across the river from Fort Delaware. Along with Fort Delaware and Fort Mott on the river’s New Jersey coast, Fort DuPont was part of a three-point defense system.
Fort DuPont’s fortification was strengthened in the 1870s when the battery was expanded. Major improvements were made again during the Spanish-American War in 1898. New batteries were constructed of concrete formed over steel frames to house “disappearing” guns, rapid-fire cannons, and mortars. Many of the bunkers and gun emplacements still exist today. In 1899, the site was named Ft. DuPont in honor of Rear Admiral Samuel Francis du Pont, a Civil War hero from Delaware.
In the 20th century, Fort DuPont fort was used to train soldiers for both World Wars I and II. Between the wars, the fort served as headquarters for the 1st Engineers Regiment. During World War II, over 3,000 military personnel were stationed at Ft. DuPont. It also held over 1,000 German and Italian prisoners-of-war from Rommel’s Afrika Korps. After World War II, Ft. DuPont was turned over to the State of Delaware. A portion of the site, including the ballfield on which the current Diamond State Base Ball Club plays, was dedicated as a state park in 1992.