Fort Terry, Plum Island, N.Y.

Fort Terry was established on Plum Island in Gardiners Bay east of Orient Point, L.I. on land purchased by the U.S. Government in 1897 and 1901. The Fort was a vital link in the chain of fortifications guarding the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound. Following the deactivation of the Fort in 1949, the U.S. Department of Agriculture opened the Plum Island Animal Disease Laboratory (PIADC) on Plum Island in 1956 to research animal pathogens. More than 50 years later, in 2008, an Act of Congress declared that PIADC be closed and Plum Island sold to the highest bidder in order to facilitate a move to a more modern and more secure facility in Kansas. Given Plum Island’s diverse natural history and historical resources, this mandated sale has triggered opposition from a wide spectrum of groups, public officials and individuals. The outcome of the legal and political struggle to keep Plum Island off the auction block hangs in the balance and all concerned citizens should join the fight to preserve Plum Island.

For more information on the struggle to preserve Plum Island, please visit:

Annual exhibition sponsored by:

Fort Terry, Plum Island, N.Y.

The Plum Island exhibit relied primarily on the work of six talented photographers: Robert Lorenz, whose photos covered both the natural beauty of Plum Island and the decay of toppled emplacements and abandoned buildings; Susan Tamulevich, leader of repeated tours to Plum Island for the Custom House Maritime Museum, who shot iconic sites and architectural details spotted along the way; Jane T. Ahrens, of Fishers Island, who turned her well-trained eye on structural interiors, exteriors, and natural vistas; and Mark Berhow, Coast Defense Study Group, whose camera captured a variety of gun emplacements and former Fort Buildings while touring military sites on Plum Island with members of his organization. A wonderful photograph of a kayak protest was provided by Patricia Burnside. Matthew D. Schlesinger, New York Natural Heritage Program, kindly allowed us to reproduce several of his images from the Plum Island Biodiversity Study.

Institutions that provided information and images were: Coast Defense Study Group, General Services Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, New York Natural Heritage Program, Preserve Plum Island Coalition, Save the Sound, and the United States Department of Agriculture.

As I tend to say, for good reason, at the end of every acknowledgment section: We couldn’t have done it without you!

Pierce Rafferty,
Henry L. Ferguson Museum