I’ve only ever walked along the actual beach at Baker Beach. This time I parked in a different spot and wandered through a grove of trees that had hidden several abandoned wartime bunkers. Now covered in graffiti and derelict, there they were.
My brain went immediately to holy crap! These are left over war relics! Actual people used to get inside these and do whatever it was they did then. Naturally from there, I thought, how can I get inside? I wanted to touch history. The best I could accomplish was with my camera, shooting what’s left, the earthly remains, and imagine.
Upon inquiry, I found out that these bunkers were and are still part of the Presidio, now preserved for historic reasons. The Battery Chamberlin still conducts demonstrations the first weekend of every month, without the actual firing, of course.
This huge “disappearing” gun was designed with a range of nine miles and could fire two rounds per minute with a crew of twenty-five men working brigade style to get all the necessary rounds, gun powder, equipment, etc., needed to fire each round. After firing, it would go back down into the ground, disappearing from sight. No ear protection was worn, so hearing damage was not uncommon.
If you get a chance to get to Baker Beach and wander through the bunkers, stop and think about why they’re there and how they protected our coast and helped us maintain the lifestyle we currently enjoy. You will be awed.