During the Native American troubles of the 1850s a military establishment called Fort Mason was built at or near Wilson Point adjoining the city of Port Townsend on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in northwest Clallam County. On April 4, 1900, Fort Worden was established as a coastal defense post. The fort was named in honor of Admiral John Lorimer Worden, who commanded the U.S.S. Monitor in her historic battle with the C.S.A. Merrimac, on March 8-9, 1862, at Hampton Roads, Virginia during the Civil War.
Fort Worden, adjoining the city, provided a steady pay roll. At present, it is a State Park and Conference Center offering a variety of recreational and interpretive activities, including the Coast Artillery Museum and Marine Science Center. At the northeastern tip of the park is Point Wilson Light Station featuring a lighthouse constructed in 1913. Fort Worden State Park is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a bustling center with lodging, a brew pub, a wood working school and Peninsula College facilities.