Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Fort Williams

Sign: Brief History of Fort Williams (2001)

Sign: Brief History of Fort Williams (2001)

is located in Cape Elizabeth and its grounds constitute Fort Williams City Park. In 1873 construction had begun on earthworks fortifications and was known as the Battery at Portland Head. By 1892, concrete batteries had been placed over the original structure. It remained a sub-post of Fort Preble (near Southern Maine Technical College) until 1898 when it became an independent fort.

On April 13, 1899, President McKinley named Cape Elizabeth’s forst military fortification – Fort Williams. The fort was named in honor of Brevet Major General Seth Williams, Assistant Adjutant General for the U.S. Army.

Some Remaining Buildings at Fort Williams (2001)

Some Remaining Buildings at Fort Williams (2001)

With its commanding view of Portland Harbor whose safety it protected, it was adjacent to the Portland Head Light. During World War II, an infantry and artillery unit provided the Harbor Defense for Portland. Fort Williams formally closed in 1964.

The Goddard Mansion, once used by the Fort, is located nearby.

Additional resources

Fort Williams Coastal Science Park, Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Prepared for the Research Institute of the Gulf of Maine. Scarborough, Me. William Dickson Associates. 1971.

“Fort Williams Park.” http://www.capeelizabeth.com/visitors/attractions/fort_williams_park/home.html.

Thompson, Kenneth E. Portland Head Light & Fort Williams: An Illustrated History with a Walking Guide Map. Portland, Me. Thompson Group. c1998.




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This entry was last modified: September 08, 2017 02:09 AM

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