Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Entries listed under "forts"

Cape Elizabeth

Location Map for Cape Elizabeth

in Cumberland County, first settled by Europeans in the 1630’s, incorporated in 1765. The clipper ship Snow Squall was built here in 1851. A wealthy suburb of Portland, it has a scenic coastline; attractions include lighthouses at Two Lights State Park, Crescent Beach State Park, Fort Williams, and Portland Head Light. See photos. Continue reading

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Castine

Location Map For Castine

In 1629 the British authorized a trading post at what was then Pentagoet. The post was destroyed by the French in 1631 and in 1634. Two forts are among the many historic sites. Maine Maritime Academy, and its training ship are located in the town. Continue reading

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Dresden

Location Map for Dresden

is site of the 1761 Pownalborough Courthouse, the first built in Maine, visited by future President John Adams, Daniel Webster, and Benedict Arnold on his way to Quebec. The Earle R. Kelley Wildlife Management Area and the Dresden Bog are here in the area first settled in 1752. Continue reading

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Eastport

Location Map for Eastport

is on Moose Island at the end of a peninsular surrounded by Cobscook Bay and Passamaquoddy Bay. See video and photos. Visited by European fishermen and traders in the 1600’s, the area was settled in 1772. A proposed oil refinery was rejected based on concerns about oil spills and environmental threats. Once a fish canning center (the first sardine cannery in the U.S. opened in 1875), the city struggles against its isolated location. The historic downtown has undergone substantial restoration. Continue reading

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Edgecomb

Location Map for Edgecomb

Overlooking the Sheepscot River and the Narrows at the entrance to Wiscasset Harbor, Fort Edgecomb’s tower has a 360 degree view of the water and countryside. See photos. Settlers arrived in 1744; the town incorporated in 1774. Population has more than doubling, during the decades 1970-2010. Continue reading

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Fort Baldwin

Fort Baldwin (2001)

is located on Sabino Hill in Phippsburg. Constructed between 1905 and 1912, three batteries are hidden in the woods overlooking the mouth of the Kennebec River and old Fort Popham. During World War I, it housed two artillery companies guarding … Continue reading

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Fort Gorges

Fort Gorges in Casco Bay (2014)

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 … Continue reading

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Fort Kent

Location Map for Fort Kent

A fort, named for Governor Edward Kent, was constructed between 1838 and 1840 to assert Maine’s authority and protect settlers during the bloodless Aroostook War. Populated largely by descendents of Acadians fleeing British persecution, French is frequently the language of choice. Continue reading

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Fort Popham

stands on Hunnewell Point in Phippsburg at the mouth of the Kennebec River. This semi-circular structure was begun in 1862 but never completed. It was then that the Union realized how vulnerable the area was to potential British incursions in … Continue reading

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Fort Pownall

Penobscot Bay at the mouth of the Penobscot River near Fort Pownall (2001)

stood on Fort Point in Stockton Springs on the Penobscot River. In 1626 the English set up a trading post at the mouth of the Penobscot River. The French and Indians attacked with great ferocity. In ten years it was … Continue reading

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Fort Western

Fort Western complex with the Main House (2001)

In 1625, the Plymouth Colony Pilgrims sailed to the Kennebec River in hopes of establishing a trading relationship with area Indians. By 1628 the Pilgrims were operating a year-round trading post just south of where Fort Western now stands. The … Continue reading

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Fort William Henry

Fort William Henry (2001)

is located in the town of Bristol, Lincoln County, in the Pemaquid area. Built in 1692, it was destroyed in 1696 by the French under the leadership of Baron de Castin. The tower, and parade grounds are replicas built in … Continue reading

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Fort Williams

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 … Continue reading

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Gorham

Location Map for Gorham

First called Narragansett Number 7, it was granted to men who fought in the Narragansett War of 1675. Gorham Academy, founded 1803, became Western State Normal School, University of Maine at Gorham, and now Gorham Campus of the University of Southern Maine. The home of former governor Percival P. Baxter has become a museum of Indian artifacts and rare coins. Several other notables lived here. Continue reading

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Kennebec Bridge

New Kennebec Bridge (2016)

This bridge, built in 1931 by the American Bridge Company and slated for replacement in 2013, was described in the Federal Infrastructure Projects web site as noted below. The project replaces an 80 year-old moveable span truss bridge at the … Continue reading

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Kent, Edward

(1802-1877) was born in Concord, New Hampshire on January 8, 1802. After studying law with Benjamin Orr of Topsham, Kent began his own practice in Bangor in September of 1825. He later was a partner in several law firms and … Continue reading

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Kittery

Location Map for Kittery

in York County serves as the gateway to Maine from points south with its old and more modern bridges spanning the Piscataqua River. See video & photos. The federal government established the Navy Yard in 1806. The 74-gun ship Washington was the first vessel built there in 1815. The town’s long history is partially illustrated by the substantial list of historic sites. Continue reading

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Masardis

Location Map for Masardis

The Aroostook River flows northward through the middle of the township and by the village of Masardis. The small Pollard Flat Wildlife Management Area lies on the west bank of the river north of the village. A boat launch provides access to Scopan (formerly Squa Pan) Lake. Most of the Lake is in adjoining Scopan Township. Continue reading

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Peaks Island

Approaching the Island (2014)

The Island is a City of Portland neighborhood in Casco Bay, accessible by ferry from the terminal on Portland’s waterfront.  The brief trip carries freight, vehicles, bicycles and tourists. While the population is about 900, the number of people on … Continue reading

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Phippsburg

Location Map for Phippsburg

Even before it was incorporated, the community had its church (see photos), which was organized in 1765 and built in 1802. The tip of Phippsburg at the mouth of the Kennebec River is the site of the first English attempt at settling New England: the Popham Colony of 1607-1608. Fort Popham and Fort Baldwin, rise as a guardians of land upriver. Coxes Head, which juts out into the Kennebec River. Continue reading

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Popham Colony

Map of Maine showing the Location of the Popham Colony

The Popham Colony on the Kennebec River was the first organized attempt to establish a permanent English settlement in what we now call New England. The French had their own colony on an island in the St. Croix River, between … Continue reading

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Prospect

Location Map for Prentiss

on the west bank of the Penobscot River, across from Bucksport, the main village is at the junction of Maine Route 174 and U.S. Route 1A, near the South Branch of the Marsh River. Prospect is home to Fort Knox, built in 1844 with Mount Waldo granite from Frankfort and named for Henry Knox, the first U.S. Secretary of War. Continue reading

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Randall, Benjamin

1789-1859) a U.S. Representative, was born in Topsham on November 14, 1789, he pursued an academic course, was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1809. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1812 and began his practice in Bath. … Continue reading

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Richmond

Location Map for Richmond

The main village is located on the west side of the Kennebec River, just south of Gardiner on Maine Route 24, where the river splits to form Swan Island. See photos.Benedict Arnold’s expedition, having first landed at Swan Island in the river across from the town, passed by the remnants of Fort Richmond. The town has a substantial collection of grand houses, including several Greek Revival specimens. Peacock Beach State Park is near the historic Peacock Tavern on U.S. Route 201. Continue reading

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Southern Maine Community College

Sign for SMCC (2012)

located in South Portland,is one of several community colleges across the state.  It was formerly know as Southern Maine Technical College, but has expanded its offerings to include additional academic courses. The college has been in existence since the mid-twentieth … Continue reading

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Standish

Location Map for Standish

Named in honor of Captain Miles Standish, the military leader of the Plymouth Colony, the town has a very long shoreline on Sebago Lake in its southwest corner, including its Lower Bay. See photos. In the 19th century, the Oxford-Cumberland Canal allowed passage of boats from Harrison to Portland. Steep Falls was a thriving village historically, with its excellent water power on the Saco River and the railroad station in its midst. Both a recreational area and suburb of Portland, the town is served by six Maine highway routes. Continue reading

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Stockton Springs

Location Map for Stockton Springs

The town lies at the junction of U.S. Routes 1 (east to Bucksport) and 1A (north to Bangor). See photos. Fort Point is a peninsular, just north of Sears Island, that extends almost to the center of Penobscot Bay at its northerly reaches. British Governor Pownall built Fort Pownall there in 1759. Fort Point State Park marks the southern end of Fort Point Cove. Sandy Point Beach is at the northern reach of the cove. Continue reading

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Winslow

Winslow is on the east side of the Kennebec River, across from Waterville, on Routes U.S. 201 and Maine routes 32, 100, 100A, and 137. See photos. A reconstructed blockhouse of Fort Halifax, which incorporates many original timbers, stands on the fort’s original site. Continue reading

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