Hundreds of years ago, it housed the largest and most heavily armed fort built in the area during the War of 1812. Americans feared a British attack from the north and chose the site of Fort Fish for its rocky heights and vantage point over the Harlem Meer. No battles were fought here, and no trace of the fort remains today.
The fort landscape in the northeastern section of Central Park was a strategic military spot as far back as 1776. During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington rode through the area to defend against invading British forces. The British seized the hills and occupied the area for seven years.
After the British decamped, the area lay peaceful until the War of 1812. Anticipating a British invasion, over 200 American volunteers hastily built a network of military fortifications, including Nutter’s Battery and Fort Clinton, to guard McGowan’s Pass and the City below. Fort Fish, placed on the highest of the bluffs, was named after Colonel Nicholas Fish, the chairman of the City's Committee of Defense.