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Virtual Earth map of Fort Terry on Plum Island, NY (blurred)

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Fort Terry was a coastal fortification on Plum Island, a small Island just off Orient Point, New York. This strategic position afforded it a commanding view (and range) over the Atlantic entrance to the commercially vital Long Island Sound. According to the New York State Department of Military and Naval Affairs the Fort began operation in 1879, was expanded during the Spanish-American war, World War I and World War II and then was declared surplus in 1948. It served as a Chemical Corps facility until 1954 when the USDA took over the Island and began to use it as an animal disease research center.

Plum Island houses a high-security biological containment facility in which scientists study foreign animal diseases and develop safeguards to prevent these diseases from decimating U.S. livestock.

Most of the original buildings and batteries still stand today and in many cases have been incorporated in one way or another (some as animal holding pens) into the island's new role as a disease research center.


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