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The history house along Officers Row at Sandy Hook decorated with American Flags. Sandy Hook is a large sand spit or barrier spit, the extension of a barrier peninsula along the coast of New Jersey, separated from the mainland by the estuary of the Shrewsbury River. The now-defunct Fort Hancock is located at the north end of the peninsula. It is now open to the public. The Sandy Hook Proving Ground was used by the United States Army for many years - beginning after the Civil War until 1919, when the facility was moved to Aberdeen, Maryland - and was later the site of a Nike missile defense installation. The Sandy Hook Nike station is one of a very few stations that are still intact. Almost all of the fort's gun batteries are off limits to the public due to their hazardous condition.