Maine: An Encyclopedia
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Fort Gorges

Fort Gorges in Casco Bay (2014)

Fort Gorges in Casco Bay (2014) @

Fort Gorges and small boats in Portland Harbor (1999)

Fort Gorges and boats in Portland Harbor (1999)

The structure was begun in 1858, a year after Congress authorized funds, on Hog Island in Portland Harbor.

By the end of the Civil War it was outdated with the invention of the rifle cannon that could destroy its granite structure.

Fort Gorges is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Currently owned by the City of Portland and uninhabited, it has no ferry service.

The following is from a brief history of the fort from the “Art & History” section of the U.S. Senate internet site:

Fort Gorges with Peaks Island in Background (2001)

Fort Gorges, Peaks Island in Background (2001)

Following the War of 1812, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed that a fort be built on Hog Island Ledge, in Casco Bay at the entrance to the harbor at Portland.

Named for the colonial proprietor of Maine, Sir Fernando Gorges, it was constructed to support existing forts, including Fort Scammel built on nearby House Island in 1808.

Congress, however, did not fund construction of Fort Gorges until 1857. The walls of the fort were begun the next year, and when the Civil War broke out in 1861, work quickly advanced. It was completed in 1865 as the war ended, a granite reminder of what might have been. A modernization plan was begun in 1869, but funding was cut off in 1876, with the third level of the fort still unfinished.

Additional resources

“Fort Scammel and Fort Gorges, Maine.” http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/art/artifact/Painting_33_00015.htm (accessed November 28, 2011)

McKinnon, Donna Lee. Portland Defended: A History of the United States Government Fortifications of Casco Bay, 1794-1945. 1987. (Thesis (M.A.) in History–University of Maine, 1987) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

This entry was posted in History, Forts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fort Gorges

  1. The non-profit Friends of Fort Gorges is working with the City of Portland’s Historic Preservation Commission and Greater Portland Landmarks to develop a plan and fund preservation of Fort Gorges, an important landmark in Casco Bay.

    For More Information contact the Friends:
    POB 511 Portland, ME. 04112
    207.370.1181
    info@friendsoffortgorges.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *