Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fort Edgecomb, Wiscasset, Maine

Fort Edgecomb State Historic Site
Fort Edgecomb State
Historic Site
Visited 14 Jun 2012 - Fort Edgecomb (1808-1816) was a Second System coastal fortification built in 1808 just prior to the War of 1812 for the protection of Wiscasset Harbor. Except for a brief period during the Civil War the post was abandoned after 1816. Because it was abandoned while still a Second System fortification, the site still reflects that period of time and is now Fort Edgecomb State Historic Site. The site is about 50 mile north of Portland and can be reached via I 295 and US 1.
Fort Edgecomb Blockhouse
Fort Edgecomb Blockhouse

Fort Edgecomb Site Looking Toward the Harbor
Fort Edgecomb Site Looking Toward the Harbor
Fort Edgecomb seemed to be unattended on the day of our visit and the main attraction, the restored blockhouse, was locked up tight. That didn't detract from the setting or the sense of history. The blockhouse is one of the few Second System blockhouses restored in their original site and configuration and the setting overlooking the harbor is magnificent.

Lower Battery and Stone Wall
Lower Battery and Stone Wall
Below the blockhouse are two gun batteries. The upper battery is an earthworks affair while the lower battery is a more substantial stone and earthwork built into the rock foundation of the site. The land slopes down rapidly toward the water's edge and the blockhouse commands the site and the batteries.
Blockhouse Entrance
Blockhouse Entrance Note the Heavy Timbers
Supporting the Second Floor

The blockhouse is an octagonal two story structure with a tall observation tower built above the roof line and a masonry foundation. The upper and lower levels have cannon ports and rifle loopholes for defense. The upper level overlaps the first level and rests upon large squared timbers. The thick layered door is studded with iron nails and hidden hinges to prevent axes from breaking through. The blockhouse was normally painted white so that any approaching enemy ships would know that the harbor was defended. On this day the blockhouse was close up tight so we could not see the inside. The outside seem in good repair except that the white paint job could use a renewal.

Fort Edgecomb is probably one of the best places to get a good sense of what a small Second System fortification was like and it has a terrific view of the harbor. We had a great visit.

For more information and pictures visit the, Fort Edgecomb Page.


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