Southeastern Massachusetts

Acushnet Fort | Fort Andrew | Aptucxet Trading Post | Barneys Joy Point Res.
Bridgewater Fort | Butler Point Res. | Chatham Radar Station | Clark's Garrison
Fort at Clark's Point | Cooke's Garrison | Duxbury Batteries | Elizabeth Island Fort
Elizabeth Islands Res. | Fort Fearing | Fourth Cliff Res. | Gosnold's Fort | Gurnet Fort
Harlow's Fort House | Harwich Powder House | Camp Hooker | Leonard's Garrison
Fort Leverett | Middleberry Fort | Mishaum Point Res. | Nauset Fort | Fort at New Plymouth
North Attleboro Powder House | North Truro Radar Station | Palmer's Island Garrison
Peaked Hill Radar Station | Perry's Garrison | Fort Phoenix | Plymouth Camp
Plymouth Powder House | Pope's Garrison | Provincetown Batteries
Rehoboth Garrisons | Fort Ridiculous | Fort Rodman | Russell's Garrison
Sagamore Hill Res. | Fort Standish (1) | Swansea Garrisons | Fort Taber
Tarpaulin Cove Battery | Taunton Garrisons | Taunton Powderhouse
Taunton River Fort | Fort Useless | Camp Wellfleet | Wing's Fort House
Woodcock's Garrison

Northeastern Massachusetts - page 1 | Boston Harbor I - page 2
Boston Harbor II - page 3 | Western Massachusetts - page 5


Last Update: 06/JULY/2018
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2018 American Forts Network

NOTE: From 1620 until 1683, this part of the state was once the Colony of Plymouth Bay.

HARBOR DEFENSES of BOSTON (partial - see also page 3)

Fourth Cliff Military Reservation
(Fourth Cliff Military Family Recreation Area)
(1942 - 1948/present), near Humarock FORT WIKI
Located here is Battery 208 (1944 - 1948) (proposed name Battery Ames) and two fire-control towers. The foundation remains of the associated SCR-296A radar station are at Holly Hill to the south (at 151 Dwight Road, Marshfield (private property)). Battery 106 was proposed to be built on Flowers Hill, about one mile south from here. The former Army post is now used as a military recreation area for Air Force personel and families, primarily from Hanscom Air Force Base.

A multi-story concrete WWII fire-control tower still exists southeast in Brant Rock, which is now used as a private home.
See also Boston Coast Defense by Paul Grigorieff

Sagamore Hill Military Reservation
(Scusset Beach State Reservation)
(Friends of Scusset Beach)
(1941 - 1945), near Sagamore Beach FORT WIKI
Located on Sagamore Hill at Scusset State Beach to protect the Cape Cod Canal. The concrete Panama mounts (1942) and battery commander's station of a two-gun 155mm battery still remain here, as well as several magazine igloos. Hiking trail access to Sagamore Hill.

ALSO: A 40mm AMTB battery (1944) was located at Sandwich, and a two-gun 155mm field battery (1944) (sandbag emplacements, no Panama mounts) was temporarily located at Rocky Point, covering Plymouth Bay. A two-gun 155mm field battery (1942) was also temporarily located at Race Point on Cape Cod.

Duxbury Batteries
(1812 - 1815), Duxbury
Two small unnamed fortifications were built at the mouth of the Bluefish River to protect shipping and shipbuilding along the lower part of the river during the War of 1812. A water battery, with two 12-pounder guns, was built on a small peninsula at the entrance of the river, while a small fort with three 6-pounders stood on a high point above it.
(thanks to Wendy Baker for providing info)

Fort Andrew
(1776 - 1869/1927), Plymouth
Originally a six-gun Patriot militia earthwork fort known as the Gurnet Fort was located here at Gurnet Point on Saquish Neck. Garrisoned by 60 men. While searching for American privateers, the British frigate H.M.S. Niger observed the fortifications and shots were exchanged during which one of the lighthouse beacons was damaged. The warship grounded on nearby Brown's Island, but was quickly refloated and sailed away without any further show of hostilities. This was the only action the fort ever saw. The fort was rebuilt with five guns in 1808. It was rebuilt again in 1863 with seven guns (four mounted) and given its current name. Became an inactive Federal military reservation in 1869. Most of the fort was sold off in 1926, and a portion was transferred to the Coast Guard in 1927. A WWII fire-control station was once located within the old fort, but was demolished sometime after the war. Only a small portion of the original earthworks still remain today, including two magazines and a bombproof. This is currently private property. Public access to Gurnet Point is limited to the seasonal open houses at the lighthouse. A plaque was erected on Cole's Hill in Plymouth in 1976 to commemorate the fort. The wooden Plymouth (Gurnet Point) Lighthouse is here, originally built as a double light station in 1843, replacing an earlier light first built in 1768. The second tower, originally 30 feet away from its sister tower and connected by a covered walkway, was demolished in 1924. The remaining tower was moved 140 feet back from its original position in 1997, due to threatened beach erosion, and is now located within the confines of the old fort's earthen walls.
See also The Gurnet (PDF document) by Charles W.E. Morris, courtesy of the Pilgrim Hall Museum
{Not to be confused with Fort Andrews in Boston Harbor, see page 3}

Fort Standish (1)
(1863 - 1870/1925), Plymouth
A rectangular five-gun earthwork redoubt with two magazines and a bombproof, located on Saquish Head. Officers' Quarters, barracks, and a mess hall were located outside the fort. Became an inactive Federal military reservation in 1870, and was sold off in 1925. The earthworks still exist, currently private property.
{Not to be confused with Fort Standish (2) in Boston Harbor, see page 3}

Fort at New Plymouth
(1621 - unknown), Plymouth FORT WIKI
The colony was originally stockaded and armed with six cannons. The church fort was built on Burial Hill (site marked in Burial Hill Cemetery). It was no longer in existence by 1675. The settlement's meeting house was then palisaded in 1675 - 1677. Batteries were emplaced on Cole's Hill to repel any sea-born raids by the French or pirates. It is now the site of the Pilgrim Memorial. Plimoth Plantation is a reconstruction of the original fort and village. Admission fee. Located nearby is the Mayflower II, a replica (1959) of the original. See also Pilgrim Hall Museum from The Pilgrim Society

Plymouth Powder House
(1770 - unknown), Plymouth
A 1920's replica of a colonial brick powder magazine is located in Burial Hill Cemetery. The original was razed around 1880.

William Clark's Garrison
(1676), Plymouth
Located on the Eel River near Chiltonville. Originally built in the 1660's, it was destroyed during King Philip's War (March 1676).

William Harlow's Fort House
(1677 - unknown), Plymouth
Located on Sandwich Street across from the present fire station. It was originally built with the salvaged timber from the Plymouth Plantation Meeting House, which was dismantled after Indian attacks ended in this area. Admission fee.

Plymouth Camp
(1942 - 1943), Plymouth
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 "K" Company, 181st Infantry Regiment; and "D" Battery, 211th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm howitzers). The infantry patrolled the coast between Nantasket and East Dennis, but not including the Cape Cod Canal, which was covered by the Coast Artillery. The field artillery was emplaced in several prepared earthwork positions along the coast.

Stephen Wing's Fort House
(1641 ? - unknown), East Sandwich
An 18th-century house built around the original 1641 house. Located at 69 Spring Hill Road. Admission fee. Archaeological excavations were conducted in 2010.

Harwich Powder House
(1770 - 1864), Harwich Center
A local militia powder magazine located on the grounds of the Brooks Academy Museum. It was originally located at what is now Brooks Park before it was acquired by the Harwich Historical Society in 1975.

Chatham Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), Chatham
A WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-270 early warning radar was located here. Possibly located on Great Hill (131 feet elevation). The Air Force / MIT Lincoln Labs later used this site for an AN/CPN-18 Gap-Filler ESS radar (1952 - 1960).

Nauset Fort
(Cape Cod National Seashore - Fort Hill)
(1644 ? - 1660's ?), Eastham
The meeting house of a group of Pilgrim settlers led by Thomas Prence was located on or near Fort Hill (60 feet elevation) in the Nauset Marsh, which commanded the entrance to Nauset Harbor. The town, first settled in 1644 and organized in 1646, was renamed in 1651. A fort of some sort, or at least an artillery position, was built on the hill by 1653, if not before, after hostilities with the Dutch commenced. The National Park Service acquired the property in 1961, and by 1966 had added a paved road and parking lot for a public viewing area on the summit.

Camp Wellfleet
(Cape Cod National Seashore)
(1943 - 1961), Wellfleet
An Army anti-aircraft gun training range in WWII, located along the Atlantic shoreline. Used by the MA National Guard after 1947. Used as a firing range for 75mm Skysweeper AA guns from 1954 - 1956, using radio-controlled targets. The majority of the site (1689 acres) became part of the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961, the town owns about 49 acres. No remains, primarily due to severe beach erosion.

North Truro Radar Station
(North Truro Air Force Station)
(1942 - 1945), North Truro
A WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-270 early warning radar was located here (or proposed ?), near the Highland (Cape Cod) Lighthouse. Site presently used by the Air Force as an air defense radar site since 1951 (also now shared with FAA).

Provincetown Batteries
(1864 - 1872), Provincetown
Two Civil War sandwork batteries known as Long Point Inner Battery (five guns) and Long Point Outer Battery (three guns), connected by a 1,650-foot long wooden boardwalk. The local residents referred to them as Fort Useless and Fort Ridiculous. The Outer Battery was located adjacent to the original Long Point Lighthouse (built 1822, replaced with the current tower in 1875). A stable and barracks for 95 men was located outside of the Inner Battery. Officers were quartered in a private residence nearby. No trace remains of either. The frame barracks at the Inner Battery was reportedly relocated sometime after the war to 473 Commercial Street in Provincetown and converted to a private residence.

Gosnold's Fort
(1602), Nantucket Island
A small supply post built by Bartholomew Gosnold's explorative expedition. Lasted only for the summer season. (see also Elizabeth Island Fort below)

Peaked Hill Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard
A WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning radar was located here at the top of Peaked Hill (311 feet elevation). No remains, except possibly the concrete footings for the former 50-foot tall radar tower and some building foundations. The Air Force / MIT Lincoln Labs later used this site for an SCR-548 Gap-Filler ESS radar (1952 - 1957), and later an AN/FPS-14 radar (1957 - 1968).

Tarpaulin Cove Battery
(1775 ?), Tarpaulin Cove, Naushon Island
A Patriot fort or battery on the east point of the entrance to the cove.

Elizabeth Island Fort
(1602), Cuttyhunk Island
A fort and storehouse built by Bartholomew Gosnold's explorative expedition. The temporary settlement was named Elizabeth after the English Queen. (see also Gosnold's Fort above) A 60-foot tall stone monument was built in 1903 on Gosnold Island, near the old Cuttyhunk Lighthouse.

Aptucxet Trading Post (Museum)
(1627 - 1629 or 1635), Bourne
A Pilgrim trading post. It was probably abandoned as an active post in 1629. It was destroyed by a hurricane in 1635. It was excavated in the 1920's and reconstructed in 1930 as a museum near Shore Road, operated by the Bourne Historical Society. Based on 1995 excavations by the Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project, this site was probably the Ezra Perry Garrison (1676). The actual site of the trading post was probably located about one mile southwest in Gray Gables.
(info courtesy of Craig Chartier of the Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project)

Palmer's Island Garrison
(1675), New Bedford
A settlers' fort located on Palmer's Island. No remains, completely developed. The island's namesake, William Palmer, was killed by Indians in 1670.

Fairhaven Garrison Houses
(1675), Fairhaven
John Cooke's Garrison was a settlers' fort (palisaded blockhouse and barracks), a portion of which stood until the Civil War era. A marker is at Garrison and Coggeshall Streets. Thomas Pope's Garrison was a palisaded house located on the west side of Sconticut Neck Road. It was attacked in 1675. There may have also been another garrison on Pope's Island, which was also attacked in 1675.

Fort Phoenix
(Fort Phoenix Beach State Reservation)
(1775 - 1784, 1798 - 1876, intermittent), Fairhaven FORT WIKI
Originally a six-gun (or 11-gun ?) battery during the American Revolution, known as Fort Fearing (after 1778). Attacked by the British in September 1778. Rebuilt in 1798 and renamed. Rebuilt again in 1808 as a 12-gun fort. Attacked by the British in June 1814. It was regarrisoned again for the Civil War (eight guns), and a new powder magazine was built. It became a city park in 1922. It was partially restored in 1971. Five original guns from the Civil War period remain on display. During World War II this was the site of a 37mm AMTB battery. The fort is managed by the town. The state park is adjacent to the fort.

Acushnet Fort
(1776 - 1815 ?), New Bedford
A 10-gun Patriot battery was located on Eldridge Point at the entrance to the inner harbor. It was rebuilt with stone/masonry in 1808, with six guns and a stone magazine and barracks for 40 men. It no longer existed or was in ruins by the 1840's before Fort Rodman was built.

Harbor Defense of New Bedford - FORT WIKI

Butler Point Military Reservation
(1943 - 1946), near East Marion
Batteries here at the end of Sippican Neck were AMTB Battery 934 (1943 - 1946) one mount buried, which replaced an earlier two-gun 155mm battery (1942 - 1943) Panama mounts remain.

Fort Rodman
(Fort Taber - Fort Rodman Historical Association)
(Fort Taber Park)
(1857 - 1892, 1898 - 1947), New Bedford
A stone hexagon-shaped fort was built here beginning in 1857, called Fort at Clark's Point. A six-gun earthwork battery (locally named Fort Taber) was built in 1863 because the unnamed stone fort was not yet completed or armed. The entire military reservation, with the new coast defense batteries, was formally named Fort Rodman in 1898. Batteries here are Battery Milliken (1924 - 1946), Battery Walcott (1899 - 1942), Battery Barton (1899 - 1942), Battery Cross (1902 - 1920), Battery Craig (1902 - 1920) one emplacement modified into AA battery for World War II, Battery Gaston (1902 - 1920), and a two-gun 155mm battery (1940's).
(some info provided by Steve Crossley and Chris McDonald of the Fort Taber - Fort Rodman Historical Association.)

Mishaum Point Military Reservation
(1943 - 1947), near Salters Point
Batteries here were Battery 210 (1945 - 1947) which is now built over by a large modern private residence, and an unnamed two-gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts, which is buried. A Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP) and a radar tower were also once here.


Barneys Joy Point Military Reservation
(1943 - 1946), Slocums Neck
Located on the opposite side of the Slocums River from Mishaum Point was AMTB Battery 931 (1943 - 1946) one mount covered.

Elizabeth Islands Military Reservation
(1943 - 1946), Gosnold Township
Located on Cuttyhunk Island were: AMTB Battery 932 (1943 - 1946) on the north tip of the island at Copicut Neck (private property), a radar tower (concrete footers now in surf (since 1990's)), and two fire-control stations with a protected FC switchboard bunker (all still extant). The eastern FC station located on Lookout Hill has been converted to an observation platform for the public. The western FC station was jointly shared with the Harbor Defenses of Narragansett Bay.

Located on Nashawena Island were: AMTB Battery 933 (1943 - 1946) (mounts remain) at Fox Point (private property).

Naushon Island has two fire-control stations still remaining, a double-station north of Mt. Surat covering Buzzards Bay, and a single station south of Mt. Cary covering Vineyard Sound (all on private property). A two-story Army barracks was also once located here, near Tarpaulin Cove.

Nearby, a 37mm AMTB battery was located at Wood's Hole, and two FC stations were located near the Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard; one (for HD Narragansett Bay) was razed in 1960, marked by a concrete floor slab now under a rock monument at the Aquinnah Cliffs Overlook parking lot; and the other, once located about 60 feet west of the old Coast Guard barracks, slid off the cliff down into the surf in the late 1950's or early 1960's.

ALSO: a WWII fire-control station for the New Bedford Defenses is still located at Rocky Point on West Island (Fairhaven) (one tower). A hurricane in September 1944 destroyed the Army barracks there. Another FC station (cottage) was once located at Round Hill Point until 2008 (this was not the well-known 1917-built 50,000 gallon stone water tower / "lighthouse" that was later converted to a radio dish antenna mast in 1951 by M.I.T., demolished November 2007). Two FC stations (originally three) for HD Narragansett Bay are also still located at Gooseberry Point (Horseneck Beach State Reservation).

John Russell's Garrison
(1675), South Dartmouth
A marker locates the overgrown foundation remains of this settlers' fort located on Fort Street overlooking Apponogansett Bay.

Fort Leverett
(1675), Fall River (or North Tiverton, RI)
Built by the colonial militia near Pocasset Swamp during King Philip's War.
(see also RHODE ISLAND page 1)

Swansea Garrison Houses
(1675), Swansea Township
Rev. John Miles' Garrison was located on Old Providence Road and Barneyville Road. It stood until 1910, now an empty field. It was the local militia's headquarters, and was attacked in 1675. Bourne's Garrison was located in South Swansea on Gardiner's Neck on Old Gardiner's Neck Road, south of Route 103. It was a stone warehouse, attacked in 1675. Major John Brown's Garrison was also in the area. There may have been up to a dozen more in the area.

Rehoboth Garrison Houses
(1675), South Rehoboth
Two settlers' forts stood here until the 1780's, described as blockhouses. Blockhouse #1 stood at Providence and Reed Streets, now an empty field. Blockhouse #2 stood one mile north at Wheeler Street, now a private residence on site. Site was excavated in 1975. (see also Old Rehoboth Garrisons listed in RHODE ISLAND page 1)

John Woodcock's Garrison
(1675), North Attleboro
A settlers' fortified house (originally built in 1669) once stood here on Route 1A, 0.4 mile south of the town line. Woodcock sold the home in 1694. The present structure here now was built in 1730 as an addition to the original structure, and was later used as a tavern when the main house was demolished in 1806. An inn/hotel was then built on the site, probably using much of the original timbers. It was demolished in 1893.

North Attleboro Powder House
(1768 - 1815), North Attleboro Township
A brick powder house is located on the hill in Old Town overlooking Mount Hope Street. Restored in 1965 by the North Attleborough Historical Commission.

Taunton Garrison Houses
(1675), Taunton Township
A settlers' fort was once located at Cohannet and High Streets, by the present Cohannet School. Another was once located at Washington and Tremont Streets. There were also five additional garrison houses in the old town (undetermined locations). The town was attacked in June 1675 and July 1676. The town was originally known as Cohannet.

A brick Powder House was once located in Weir on Powderhouse Hill, between Plain and Berkley Streets, east of Beacon Street. This may have been built just before or during the American Revolution, as there is no official record until after the war. It was last inspected in 1834, and was allowed to decay afterwards until it was finally demolished sometime before the Civil War.

Samuel Leonard's Garrison
(1675), Raynham Center
A settlers' fortified house (built in 1653 by James Leonard) located at the site of the former Ancient Iron Works Co. location (since moved to Raynham). It was attacked in 1675 and 1676. A marker is located on the south side of Route 104, 0.7 mile east of Route 44.

Bridgewater Fort
(1675), West Bridgewater
A settlers' small fort on the south side of the Town River, used mainly to store corn and other foodstuffs. It was built because the settlers did not wish to relocate to the coast during King Philip's War. The town was attacked in April 1676.

Taunton River Fort ? ?
(c. 1600 ?, 1675 ?), North Middleborough
According to local tradition the bluff behind Sentinel Rock, known as "Fort Hill", was the site of a pre-contact Nemasket Indian fort, located about one-quarter mile downstream from the Titicut Street Bridge. The local Indians reportedly died off in 1617 by a European disease, and the site was first visited by the English in July 1621. An archaeological dig in 1952 by the Cohannet Chapter, Mass. Archaeological Society, revealed a 35-foot by 42-foot rectangular palisade located about 1200 feet upstream from the Pratt's Bridge on Vernon Street, about 35 feet above the east (south) bank of the Taunton River. The stockade enclosed a nine-foot by 19-foot structure, and had two portals on opposite sides. A spring was located about 100 feet outside the stockade. A sand pit operation in the late 18th-century had obliterated the eastern trace of the fort.

Middleberry Fort
(1670 - 1675), Middleborough
A log palisade built by the town in 1670, large enough for about 75 people to take refuge for six weeks. The fort was never directly attacked, but the town was abandoned after the Indian raids, and the fort was later burned down by the Indians. A marker is located on Route 105 about one mile north of Route 28, by the town's middle school. The actual site is at or near the school's baseball field.

Camp Hooker
(1862), Lakeville
A Civil War training camp.

Northeastern Massachusetts - page 1 | Boston Harbor I - page 2 | Boston Harbor II - page 3
Western Massachusetts - page 5

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