Forts You Can Visit to Soak-In Maine History This Summer
If you’re looking to take a road-trip and take in some Maine history, here are some Forts you can visit that have centuries of Maine history.
Fort William Henry at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site in New Harbor is a reconstruction of a fort built in 1692 and destroyed four years later. From massive shore-hugging granite structures to well-preserved blockhouses to abandoned concrete bunkers that are sure to get the kids running around.
Fort McClary, Kittery on Route 103 is an 1840s fort that has a hexagonal blockhouse is made of fieldstone, granite and log. Next to it are a magazine and a brick rifleman’s house. Granite blocks from abandoned construction are scattered along the seashore. A state historic site, the fort at the mouth of the Piscataqua River was last manned in World War II as a lookout.
Fort Popham, Phippsburg, is a granite fortification on Hunnewell Point at the Kennebec River’s mouth. Nearby the semicircular shorefront fort are Fort Popham Beach State Park and Fort Baldwin, built in the early 1900s to replace Fort Popham. Both forts are state historic sites. In 1607, the area was home to the Popham Colony, the first English settlement in New England.
Fort Edgecomb, Edgecomb was built in the early 1800s, this Second System or “embargo” fort sits high above the Sheepscot River across from Wiscasset, a major Maine port back in that day. Locals were none too pleased at the embargo that spurred construction of the fort, and was also intended to deter British attacks on American merchant ships.
Fort Knox, Prospect is Maine’s largest fort and one of New England’s best preserved. The granite fortress was constructed in the mid-1800s out of concern the British would again attack a region they controlled during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Fort Knox soon became obsolete. Long passageways link interior rooms, and spiral granite staircases lead to a terreplein with bird’s-eye views of the parade ground, batteries and dry moat. There are eight cannons (about 70 were once here), two “hot shot” furnaces, and several batteries and magazines. Guided tours are offered.