American Forts: East

MAINE

Ash's Point Fort | Cadillac Mt. Radar Station | Calais Gun House | Fort Castin (1)
Fort Castine (2) | Fort Castine (3) | Camp Coburn (2) | East Machias Gun House
Egg Rock Battery | Fort Fairfield | Fernald Point Fort | Fort Foster (1) | Fort Furieuse
Fort George (2) | Fort Gosselin | Fort Griffith | Hancock Barracks | Camp Jarvis
Fort Kent | Fort Machias | Fort Madison | Fort Manning | Fort O'Brien | Penobscot Battery
Fort Penobscot (1) | Fort Penobscot (2) | Fort Pentagöet | Fort Porter | St. Croix Settlement
Fort St. Pierre | Schooner Head Battery | Fort Sherbrooke (1) | South Trescott Radar Station
Fort Sullivan (1) | Todd's Head Battery | Treat's Island Battery | Turtle Island Battery
Fort United States

Mid Coast Maine - page 2 | Casco Bay - page 3 | Southern Maine - page 4

FORTS OF MAINE
THE BORDER DISPUTE AND THE AROOSTOOK WAR

Last Update: 15/FEBRUARY/2014
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2014 American Forts Network

Camp Coburn (2)
(1865), Coburn Gore (?)
Unverified location of this military camp found in a modern reference book.

Fort Kent (State Historic Site)
(1839 - 1845), Fort Kent
A wooden blockhouse built by the state militia at the mouth of the Fish River was the scene of the bloodless "Aroostook War", where border disputes with Britain were eventually settled by treaty in 1842. Additional barracks and quarters were also built for Federal troops in 1840, which no longer exist. This became Maine's first state-owned historic site.

Fort Fairfield
(1839 - 1843), Fort Fairfield
A 1976 replica of the wooden blockhouse originally built by the state militia, now the Blockhouse Museum operated by the Frontier Heritage Historical Society. Located on Main Street. The original, a near duplicate of Fort Kent, was dismantled in 1862. Camp Jarvis was originally located here in 1839 before the blockhouse and barracks were built.

Hancock Barracks
(1828 - 1845), Houlton
The main Federal garrison post during the Canadian border crisis. Located on Garrison Hill on US 2 just east of the town center. The original buildings were sold at auction in 1873 and relocated for private use (no remains). Reportedly a few buildings and a portion of a stockade wall were reconstructed in the 1980's. The post cemetery is still maintained.

Calais Gun House
(1832 - unknown), Calais
A state militia gun house was once located in town (location undetermined). Repairs were reportedly made in 1843-44. No remains.

St. Croix Settlement (International Historic Site)
(1604 - 1605, 1611 - 1613), St. Croix Island
A French colony established by Pierre Dugua, sieur de Mons. The settlers moved (buildings and all) in the summer of 1605 to Port Royal, Nova Scotia, upon the advice of the expedition's mapmaker, Samuel de Champlain, after almost half of the colonists (35 of 79) perished of scurvy during the winter. There are almost no visible traces of the settlement remaining on the island, save for a cemetery. The island was re-occupied in 1611 but was attacked and burned by the English (from Virginia) in 1613. Public access to the 6.5 acre island is discouraged (private boat access only). Outdoor exhibits and interpretive trail located on the mainland. A new visitor center is planned for the future at Red Beach. The park is jointly managed by Parks Canada and the U.S. National Park Service since 1984.

Fort Sullivan (1)
(Barracks Museum - Border Historical Society)
(1808 - 1873), Eastport, Moose Island FORT WIKI
Located on Clark's Hill (aka Fort Hill), behind the present Shead High School, this was a four-gun semi-circular masonry and earthwork battery with a 32x32-foot square wooden two-story blockhouse, and two one-story barracks (built 1809) for an 80-man garrison. A two-story hospital was built in 1812. Surrendered in July 1814 to the British on sight of four Royal Navy warships in the harbor, no shots were fired. The British then occupied the fort with a garrison of 750 men and renamed it Fort Sherbrooke (1)).

During the British occupation, the town was simply renamed Moose Island, and the entire island became a part of the New Brunswick colony of British North America. The fort was expanded with a six-foot high earthen parapet around the perimeter, and connecting two new bastions with a two-story two-gun log blockhouse in each. A stone powder magazine (ruins still extant) was built near the former American barracks. The American blockhouse housed 140 British troops, and the two new blockhouses housed 70 men each. Other troops were billeted in civilian houses. The parapet wall was later dismantled in the 1820's, and the two British blockhouses burned down in the 1850's. Prince Regent's Redoubt was built on Holmes' Hill (aka Redoubt Hill) to the north of town, an earthwork enclosing an area about 300 feet by 250 feet, with a two-gun blockhouse (never completed) in the center. Remnants of the redoubt's earthen walls still remain on private property. Two additional infantry redoubts were partially constructed on high ground about 240 yards behind the original American fort, but also never completed (no remains) before all British defense work was halted in April 1815. The fort, town, and island were not returned to the United States until June 1818.

The battery's original four 18-pounder guns were removed in 1845. The post's acreage was enlarged during the 1830's from three acres to 12 acres. The garrison was withdrawn in October 1853 and the post put on caretaker status. A fire in February 1857 gutted the soldiers' barracks. The post was regarrisoned by state militia in 1861-65. The Commandant's House was rebuilt in 1870. Abandoned by the Army in October 1873, the buildings were later sold off in 1883. The original blockhouse was leveled in 1877. In 1884 the land was transferred from the War Department to the Interior Department. The land was finally disposed of by the federal government in 1901. All remaining buildings were torn down in the 1920's, the former Commandant's House was burned down in 1928. The ruins of the stone powder magazine still exist, located at the end of McKinley Street, off Adams Street. A former barracks building (1822 Sutler's House), now the Barracks Museum (since 1965), was moved to its present location in 1877, at 77 Washington Street. Another building (the former post hospital) was also moved in 1877 to Orange Street, near St. Joseph's Catholic Church, but it was later demolished in 1985. The original sites of the barracks were excavated in 1982 and 1983.

Civil War five-gun timber-revetted earthwork batteries (1863 - 1865) (each with a wooden storehouse and earth-covered timber magazine) were located just north of town at Todd's Head (no longer exists), commanding the Eastern Passage, and another one to the south on Treat's Island (earthworks still exist), commanding the West Passage. Completed and armed by November 1863. Soldiers for each battery (50 men each) were to be garrisoned at Fort Sullivan, although no troops were actually mustered in until May 1864. A separate barracks was then constructed on Treat's Island in the summer of 1864. Treat's Island was purchased by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust in the fall of 2009.

South Trescott Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), South Trescott
A WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-270 early warning radar was located here. Undetermined exact location. Possibly located on Trescott Rock (The Porcupine) (225 feet elevation) or on Eastern Head (219 feet elevation).

Fort Foster (1)
(1775 - 1780 ?), East Machias FORT WIKI
Patriot militia earthworks protecting the town. Located on Scott's Point. Other breastworks were built in the vicinity, and a log boom was placed across the river. The British attacked and briefly captured the fort in August 1777. The "Battle of the Rim" occurred just offshore from here in June 1775 between British naval vessels and a Patriot shore battery on a wharf at Rim Point.

East Machias Gun House
(1832 - unknown), East Machias
A state militia gun house was once located in town (location undetermined). No remains.

Fort O'Brien (State Historic Site)
(1775 - 1781, 1808 - 1818, 1863 - 1865), Machiasport FORT WIKI
Originally built in 1775 along with Fort Foster (1). From 1808 - 1818 this was a four-gun crescent-shaped stone and earthwork battery with a blockhouse. In September 1814 the British captured the fort and burned the barracks. It was returned in June 1818.

Fort Machias (1863 - 1865) was a Civil War five-gun timber-revetted earthwork battery built next to the ruins of the older Fort O'Brien battery. The sites of both works became a state park in 1923.

Fort Manning
(1814), Machiasport
A state militia work located at Birch Point. It was abandoned when the British fleet arrived in September 1814.

Ash's Point Fort ?
(unknown dates), Ashville
Traces of earthworks remain of an old (French ?) fort that was supposedly once located here.

Fernald Point Fort
(1613), near Southwest Harbor
A French Jesuit mission (St. Saveur) and fort were briefly located here at the entrance to Somes Sound, until destroyed by the English from Virginia under Capt. Samuel Argall.

Frenchman Bay Defenses
(1898 - 1901), Winter Harbor and Bar Harbor
Located at Winter Harbor was a temporary two-gun battery (10-inch smoothbore Rodmans) located on Egg Rock (magazines not completed), and a one-gun battery (8-inch rifled Rodman) (magazine not completed) on Turtle Island. Another one-gun battery (8-inch rifled Rodman) (magazine completed) was located on Schooner Head below Bar Harbor. The two 8-inch guns were removed in 1901 when the defense was abandoned. The two 10-inch guns on Egg Rock were abandoned in place in 1901 and not removed until 1991, when they were restored and placed on display in Agamont Park in Bar Harbor Village (at end of Main Street near the town pier). The Egg Rock Lighthouse was built in 1875. Egg Rock was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1998, part of the Maine Coastal Islands NWR.

Cadillac Mountain Radar Station
(Acadia National Park)
(1942 - 1945), near Bar Harbor
A WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning radar was located here at the top of Cadillac Mountain (1530 feet elevation). No remains.


¤ Forts of Castine
History of Castine from Town of Castine

¤ Fort Pentagöet
(1635 - 1734) FORT WIKI *MAP*
A French fur trading post built by Claude de Saint-Étienne de La Tour was first located here in 1613 - 1614. A second French trading post was later established in 1625, but was destroyed by the English in 1626. The Plymouth Pilgrims then established a fortified trade post here in 1629, by now known as "Pentagöet". It was captured by the French in 1635 and a true fort was then built by Charles Menou d'Aulnay, known as Fort St. Pierre. This was the westernmost outpost of French Acadia. Captured by the British under Major Robert Sedgewick in 1654, renamed Fort Penobscot (1), but returned in 1670 per the 1667 Treaty of Breda. The French, under Jean Vincent d'Abbadie, Baron de St. Castin, then built a smaller four-sided 60-foot square stone and earthwork work with four bastions, including a guardhouse, barracks, storehouse, two-story magazine, and a chapel. Also known as Fort Castin (1), it had 12 guns at this time. This became the capital of Acadia under Baron St. Castin. It was captured by the Dutch privateer Jurriaen Aernoutsz briefly in August 1674, who then plundered the fort and settlement. The Dutch attacked again in 1676. In 1688 the British under Edmund Andros razed the fort and seized the territory from the French. The French retaliated by wiping out Fort Charles at Pemaquid. The French soon regained the area by treaty. Attacked again by the British under Capt. Benjamin Church in 1704. In 1722 the British destroyed the rebuilt French fort, and seized for good all the French territory in this region. The post was then abandoned in 1734. The ruins were exposed after a 1978 winter storm, and excavations were conducted beginning in 1980. Grass covered mounds remain today behind Our Lady of Holy Hope Catholic Church at 137 Perkins Street, about two blocks east of Fort Madison Park.

¤ Fort George (2)
(1779 - 1784, 1814 - 1819) FORT WIKI
Originally known as Fort Penobscot (2) or Fort Castine (2) until completed in December 1779. Unsuccessfuly attacked by Patriot naval and land forces in July-August 1779. The buildings were burned when the British evacuated the town in January 1784. It was not rebuilt by the Americans.

The British occupied the town again in September 1814, rebuilt the fort, added several outer batteries (see below), and built the canal which crosses the peninsula. The British did not relinquish the town until April 1815, and the fort was later demolished by the town in March 1819. The earthworks, restored in 1961, are located on a hill above the Maine Maritime Academy campus, near the northern end of Pleasant Street at Battle Ave. and Wadsworth Cove Road.

An extant British redoubt (1780) is located on the 6-acre Schumacher Property along the south shore of Hatch Cove, on the northeast side of Rt. 166 (Castine Road) near the east end of the old 1814 British Canal, managed by the Conservation Trust of Brooksville, Castine, and Penobscot. Possibly the same as Fort Gosselin (1814) (?) (see below).

¤ 1814 British Defenses
(1814 - 1815)
Fort Furieuse was built after the town was captured in September 1814. It was dismantled when the British left. A marker locates the site, no remains. FORT WIKI
Fort Griffith was a redoubt that guarded the west end of the canal. Still extant along Wadsworth Cove Road. FORT WIKI
Fort Gosselin guarded the east end of the canal near the present-day bridge of Castine Road, northwest of State Street. Site is marked. Possibly the same work that is located on the Schumacher Property (listed above). FORT WIKI
Fort Sherbrooke (2) was a semi-circular redoubt located 168 yards north of Fort George (2). FORT WIKI
There were several other unnamed (?) outworks and batteries around Fort George (2).
Another post (name ?) was located at Blockhouse Point, overlooking Wadsworth Cove, west of Fort Griffith.

¤ Fort Madison
(1811 - 1819, 1864 - 1865) FORT WIKI
Initially known as the four-gun Penobscot Battery, it was captured by the British in September 1814 and renamed Fort Castine (3). Returned to the United States in April 1815, but renamed Fort Porter shortly thereafter. In 1818 this was listed as a six-gun battery with a separate three-gun outer battery.

The fort was rebuilt and/or extended during the Civil War as a five-gun timber-revetted earthwork battery and called Fort United States (1863 - 1865). This is still extant, located in a town park at 61 Perkins Street, opposite Madockawando Road.


NEED MORE INFO: Blockhouse Point in Castine.

Mid Coast Maine - page 2 | Casco Bay - page 3 | Southern Maine - page 4

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