American Forts: East

MASSACHUSETTS

Amesbury Powder House | Andover Garrisons | Fort Ann (a)
Fort Anne (b) | Fort Bailey | Camp Banks | Bedford Garrison
Beverly Fort | Beverly Gun House | Beverly Powder House | Camp Chase
Chelmsford Garrisons | Fort Conant | Concord Powder House | Cow Fort
Fort at Curtis Point | Darby's Fort | Fort Defiance | Dickenson's Garrison
Fort at Eastern Point | Camp Edmunds | French's Garrison | Gale's Head Fort
Camp Gardner | Gilbert Heights Fort | Fort Glover | Fort at Gloucester
Groveland Garrison | Camp Guild | Haverhill Garrisons | Haverhill Powder House
Camp Houston | Camp Hobson | Huits Head Battery | Ipswich Camp | Fort Juniper
Camp Lander | Fort Lee | Fort Lillie | Manchester Powder House
Marblehead Gun House | Marblehead Powder House | Fort Merrimac | Fort Miller
Naumkeag Fort | Newburyport Powder House | Fort Nichols | Fort Number One (2)
Fort Number Two (2) | Old Stone Fort | Fort Philip | Fort Pickering | Salem Barracks
Salem Blockhouses | Fort at Salisbury Point | Salisbury Beach Res. | Camp Schuyler
Sea Fensibles Barrack | Fort Sewall | Stage Fort | Camp Sutton | Watch House Hill
Fort William (1) | Camp Wilson | Woodberry's Garrison

Boston Harbor I - page 2 | Boston Harbor II - page 3
Southeastern Massachusetts - page 4 | Western Massachusetts - page 5

Last Update: 06/SEPTEMBER/2013
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2013 American Forts Network

Amesbury Powder House
(1810 - unknown), Amesbury
A small brick powder magazine located at the top of Powder House Hill off of Monroe St. near Madison St., about 11.5 feet in diameter, 15 feet tall, and presently completely encased with whitewashed cement. Preserved and maintained by the Amesbury Improvement Association. See also Amesbury - Places of Interest

Fort Nichols
(1775), Amesbury ?, or Salisbury Beach ?
A Patriot militia fort was built in 1775 at "Salisbury Point". Also known as Fort Merrimac. (NOTE: one modern topographic map features this point upstream from the ocean, across the Merrimack River from downtown Newburyport, but another map features the point on the north bank at the mouth of the river.)

Fort at Salisbury Point
(1863 - 1865), Salisbury Beach
A nine-gun earthwork battery was located at the mouth of the Merrimack River during the Civil War. No remains, actual site washed away.


¤ HARBOR DEFENSES of BOSTON (partial)

¤ Salisbury Beach Military Reservation
(Salisbury Beach State Reservation)
(1942 - 1945), Salisbury Beach FORT WIKI
There was a four-gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts and a battery commander's tower here during World War II, along with barracks and other supporting buildings. It protected the entrance to the Merrimack River. The battery is buried and the tower was dismantled. The concrete mounts (at least two) sometimes reappear after storms. No other remains.

A WWII fire-control station was located north of this position, in the residential area on the town beach. It was used by the State Police beach patrol after the war until destroyed by a hurricane in 1958. This station was part of a series of stations for the Harbor Defenses of Portsmouth, as were others located to the south at Plum Island (no remains), Castle Hill (Crane Beach) (no remains), and at Halibut Point State Park, which is open to the public. See also Portsmouth's WWII Fire-Control Towers. The Castle Hill and Halibut Point stations were also shared with the Harbor Defenses of Boston.


Newburyport Powder House
(1822 - unknown), Newburyport
A large circular brick powder magazine, about 60 feet in circumference, located on Godfrey's Hill at 57 Low Street. It was still in use during the Civil War. Restored by the Newburyport Preservation Trust in 2009-2012 and opened as a public park.

Fort Philip
(1776, 1808 - 1815 ?), Plum Island
A Patriot militia fort was once located at the northern end of Plum Island, known as Lighthouse Point. It was refortified again later as a five-gun battery, but the site was washed away in the 1830's.

Plum Island was again fortified in 1898 by state militia field artillery.

Haverhill Garrison Houses
(various dates), Haverhill
Possibly up to a dozen garrison houses were once located in the area, including the Hazen Garrison (1724) located at Eight Groveland Street (still exists, private residence); the Peasley Garrison (1675) located at 790 East Broadway (still exists, private residence); the Onesiphorus March Garrison (1690's) on Pecker's Hill (no remains); and the Thomas Dustin (Duston) Garrison (1697) a brick house located at 665 Hilldale Ave. (still exists, open by appointment). The settlement was attacked by Indians in March 1697. Two blockhouses were later built somewhere along the Merrimack River Valley in 1705, in addition to the two located in Andover (see below).

A small Powder House (1805 - 1845), about eight feet square, was once located on White Street (Powder House Lane), until a larger conical structure was built in 1845 on Golden Hill. It no longer exists.

Groveland Garrison
(1730's ?), Groveland
A settlers' garrison house located at 10 Garrison Street (still extant, modified into a larger house known locally as the "Foster Mansion"). It was believed to have been originally built by Joseph Hardy Jr. (b. 1692).

Dickenson's Garrison
(1700), Georgetown
A settlers' garrison house once located here (no remains).

Andover Garrison Houses
(1676, 1705), Andover
Twelve garrison houses were built in the area during King Philip's War in 1676, and two additional blockhouses were built in 1705.

Lowell Civil War Camps
(1861- 1862), Lowell
Civil War training camps located here were Camp Chase (1861) and Camp Wilson (1862).

Chelmsford Garrison Houses
(1690's), Chelmsford
The "Old Chelmsford" Garrison House was one of at least 19 garrison houses located here in 1691. Located at 105 Garrison Road, admission by guided tour.

French's Garrison
(1676), Billerica
A settlers' garrison house once located here (no remains).

Bedford Garrison
(1664), Bedford
A settlers' garrison house once located here (no remains).

Concord Powder House
(1810 - unknown), Concord
A local militia brick powder magazine located in the Old Hill Burying Ground. Restored in 2006.

Camp Guild
(1917), Boxford
A state National Guard mobilization center.

Camp Schuyler
(1861 - 1862), Lynnfield
A Civil War training camp. Renamed Camp Stanton in 1862.

Camp Houston
(1917), Lynnfield
A state National Guard mobilization camp.

Ipswich Camp
(1942 - 1943), Ipswich
An infantry and field artillery coastal defense base camp, with barracks, mess hall, and supply huts. Location undetermined. Posted here from May 1942 to November 1943 was "L" Company, 181st Infantry Regiment; and "B" Battery, 211th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm howitzers). The infantry patrolled the coast between Newburyport and Lynn. The field artillery was emplaced in several prepared earthwork positions along the coast.

Old Stone Fort
(1814), Rockport
Also known as Sea Fensibles Barrack, located on Bearskin Neck. It featured a two-story high structure with two large chimneys and four fireplaces. A plaque is located on the Historic Transit Tower building, which was built in 1892 on the site, now private residences. Stones from the fort were used in the harbor breakwater.

A WWII fire-control tower is located near Lands End at Emerson Point (private property).

Fort at Eastern Point
(1863 - 1867), East Gloucester
A seven-gun Civil War earthwork battery and barracks. The earthworks are still extant, located on Fort Hill Ave. east of the nearby Eastern Point Lighthouse, on the grounds of the "Ramparts", a manor house or former resort hotel from the 1920's that resembled a medieval castle with turreted towers. The house was razed in 1950 to supposedly save on taxes, leaving two stone towers still extant. A new house has recently been constructed incorporating one of the towers. Private property. See also Poetry of Places in Essex County - Eastern Point by Carl Carlsen
Big Guns over Gloucester in the Civil War from Scott Lesch

A WWII fire-control station is also located nearby, now a private home.

Fort Defiance
(1794 - 1865 ?), Gloucester
A Federal battery and blockhouse located at Fort Point (aka Watch House Point) at Harbor Cove, originally named Fort Lillie. Known as Fort at Gloucester in 1807, renamed in 1814. Burned down in 1833 and rebuilt in 1851. Abandoned after the Civil War, the reservation was still owned by the federal government until the 1920's. Nothing remains of this fort, now a residential and commercial area.

British Fort Anne (b) was previously here at Watch House Point in 1703, rebuilt in 1743, and was probably still known by this name during the American Revolution.

A gun battery was also located on Duncan's Point (date ?).
Big Guns over Gloucester in the Civil War from Scott Lesch

Stage Fort (Park)
(Essex National Heritage Area)
(1635 - 1898/intermittent), Gloucester FORT WIKI
The oldest extant fort of the original Massachusetts Bay Colony, located on the western side of Gloucester Harbor. The site was used off and on until the Spanish-American War. During the Civil War it was renamed Fort Conant. Camp Hobson was located here in 1898. Originally restored in 1930, it was again restored with mounted display cannon in 1973. The Gloucester Visitor Welcoming Center is located within the park, open in season.
Big Guns over Gloucester in the Civil War from Scott Lesch

Manchester Powder House
(1810 - unknown), Manchester-by-the-Sea
A local militia brick powder magazine still exists on Powder House Hill. Restored in 2007 by the Manchester Conservation Commission, maintained by the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust. See also Good Morning Gloucester

Nearby at Coolidge Point is a WWII fire-control station (now a private home), and located to the west at Gales Point is a WWII ten-story fire-control tower now resembling a lighthouse (private property). An SCR-296A radar was also once at Gales Point on top of the tower.

Beverly Fort
(1775 - 1776, 1814), Beverly
A Patriot militia earthwork was originally located on the hill behind the later-built lighthouse (1871) at Beverly Harbor at Paul's Head (aka Hospital Point), located at the end of Bayview Ave.. The J-shaped earthwork still exists. A smallpox quarantine hospital was built here in 1801. It was used by the state militia as barracks in 1814, but burned down in 1849.

Another Patriot 7-gun earthwork battery was supposedly located across Beverly Cove at Woodbury Point (no remains).

The Beverly Gun House (1808) was once located on High Street (no remains). The Powder House (1808) still exists on Prospect Hill.

William Woodberry's Garrison
(1640's), Beverly
According to Stone’s 1843 "History of Beverly", Curtis (aka Woodberry/Woodbury) Point, just east of Brackenbury Beach, was the site of the town's earliest English dwelling. William Woodberry, one of the five Old Planters given land grants on the Cape Ann Side of Salem in 1630, built his home there (at the foot of present-day Prince Street). “It was a large double house, constructed for defense against an enemy and called the garrison house. It was framed of oak after the fashion of the times, and was taken down about forty years ago.”

Fort at Curtis Point
(1863 - 1865), Beverly
A 12-gun Civil War earthwork battery. Site located south of the present Endicott College campus. No remains (?).

Camp Lander
(1862 - 1865), Wenham
A Civil War training center located at present-day Pingree Park. There were 20 barracks, Officers' quarters, cook houses, hospital, barber shop, and storehouses.

Watch House Hill
(1600's), Danvers
A fortified house near Salem. A church has been on this spot since 1700.

Naumkeag Fort
(1629 - unknown), Salem
An early settlers' fort (eight guns) located at present-day Lynde and Sewall Streets. The town was renamed Salem in 1630. This was the first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Of interest in town is the recreated 1630 Salem Pioneer Village at Forest River Park (admission fee).

During the early 1700's, there were two blockhouses located near the almshouse (location ?).

Fort Lee
(1742, 1775 - 1776, 1813 - 1815, 1863 - 1865, 1898), Salem
Originally a colonial militia fort. Named in 1775, it had sixteen guns in 1776 . Earthworks repaired or rebuilt in the 1790's. Used by the state militia in 1813 - 1815. It was abandoned, but later rebuilt as a four-gun battery for the Civil War. Also used in 1898. The star-shaped earthworks still exist in a wooded park on Fort Ave.. PHOTO from SalemWeb.com

Fort Juniper
(1775 - 1776), Salem
A Patriot militia fort also known as Fort Number One (2), located on Juniper Point at Bayview Ave..

Fort Pickering
(Winter Island Marine Park)
(1794 - 1900/intermittent), Salem FORT WIKI
Located on Winter Island. A fortified site since 1655, originally known as Fort William (1). Renamed Fort Ann (a) (20 guns) in 1703. Renamed Fort Number Two (2) by Patriot forces in 1775. Renamed again in 1798. Rebuilt in 1800 and 1808 as a six-gun fort. Most current structures are from 1863 when the fort was tripled in size, and was known as Salem Barracks. The island was used in World War II by the U.S. Navy to store depth charges. The former Coast Guard air Station here (1934) closed in 1971. The Fort Pickering (Winter Island) Lighthouse was built in 1871. Admission fee to park for non-residents.

Also located on Winter Island were state militia Camp Sutton (1853, 1855), Camp Edmunds (1856), Camp Banks (1858), and Camp Gardner (1860's).

Fort Miller
(1742, 1775, 1813 - 1815, 1863 - 1865, 1898), Marblehead
Located on Naugus Head, this site had been fortified since 1632. Originally named Darby's Fort. Used during the American Revolution, and rebuilt in 1813 by the state militia. Rebuilt again in 1863 as a five-gun battery and renamed. Nothing remains, now a residential area.

Fort Washington (2)
(1776, 1813 - 1815), Marblehead
Located on Bailey's Head at present-day Fountain Park overlooking Little Harbor, on Orne Street opposite Old Burial Hill. Originally named Fort Bailey during the American Revolution, it was later rebuilt and renamed by the state militia. Became a city park in 1888.

Fort Sewall (park)
(1742 - 1870's ?/intermittent, 1898), Marblehead FORT WIKI
This site had been fortified since 1634. Originally called Gale's Head Fort. Rebuilt in 1775, 1794 (with blockhouse), 1799, and in 1809 as an eight-gun fort, and again in 1861 as a 12-gun battery. Probably renamed in 1814. This fort once protected the USS Constitution from British ships in 1814. Used as a city park beginning in 1892, the reservation was not deeded to the city by the Federal government until 1922. The old fort was briefly garrisoned by the state militia in 1898. The 1794 magazine still exists, as well as the 1799 magazine / barracks.

The Marblehead Gun House (1810) still exists at 45 Elm Street, and the Powder House (1755 - 1815) still exists on Green Street. Both are owned by the Marblehead Historical Commission.

Three WWII fire-control stations were located nearby at Marblehead Neck, two still exist, one of which is now a private home. An SCR-296A radar was also here.

Fort Glover
(1775 -1776, 1813 - 1815, 1863 - 1865, 1898), Marblehead
A three-gun earthwork battery from the Civil War. After it was abandoned as an active defense, local residents nicknamed it Cow Fort after the cattle that roamed within the old walls. Rebuilt in 1898. Site was leveled in 1917. Located near Riverhead Beach and the Marblehead Causeway, near the east end of present-day Bubier Road. A portion of the old town-owned "Cow Fort Farm" became Seaside Park in 1895.

Previously here (or nearby) was Huits Head Battery from the American Revolution, and Gilbert Heights Fort from the War of 1812.


Boston Harbor I - page 2 | Boston Harbor II - page 3 | Southeastern Massachusetts - page 4
Western Massachusetts - page 5

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