In the winter of 1945, military personnel and visitors entering this Fort Moultrie checkpoint were welcomed by the beaming face of a cutout Santa Claus, bringing a little holiday cheer to the otherwise curt interaction. By that year, the fort—named for Colonel William Moultrie—had seen a number of makeovers since its original Revolutionary-era construction from palmetto logs. After the Confederate army surrendered during the Civil War, Fort Moultrie was left buried under a layer of sand, protecting it from Federal fire. The structure was later modernized and served as a United States Army fortification during World War II. This period of its history saw a detachment of the Women’s Army Corps, the installation of the Harbor Defense Command Post, and German U-Boats laying mines in Charleston Harbor. The threat of nuclear warfare made the fort obsolete, and it closed in 1947, two years after this photo was taken. Today, Fort Moultrie National Monument is a popular tourist destination and historical site, where visitors can travel from the World War II-era command post back in time to the site of the 1776 palmetto-log fort.