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Sandy Hook Proving Ground

On August 7, 1874, U.S. Secretary of War William W. Belknap approved establishment of a proving ground at Sandy Hook for the testing of new long-range weapons. The need for such facilities had been felt for years, and became urgent following passage of a law in 1872 setting forth funding “for experiments and tests of heavy rifled ordnance.” Essentially abandoned in 1919 for a larger facility, the Sandy Hook Proving Ground was left to degrade, and most of the structures still remain today. The proving ground and parts of Fort Hancock are now property of the National Park Service and mostly closed to the public.


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