Fort Gorges

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Fort Gorges (1858-1946) - Established in 1858 as a late Third System granite fort on Hog Island, Cumberland County, Maine. Named after Sir Ferninando Gorges, a colonial proprietor of Maine. Declared surplus in 1946.

Fort Gorges Aerial View from the North
Fort Gorges Parade Ground
Fort Gorges from Fort Preble

Fort Gorges History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Portland, Maine.

Established to protect the northeast approaches to Portland Harbor, Fort Gorges was not garrisoned but troops from nearby Fort Preble or Fort Scammel could easily man its guns on short notice.

Construction on the original fort was begun in 1858 and completed in 1865 with at least 26 guns mounted. A modernization program was begun in 1869 but terminated in 1876 when Congress cut off funding. During the modernization program gun emplacements on the third level were removed, and new emplacements for larger guns were constructed on the east, west and north faces of the fort. The new emplacements were protected from the rear by an embankment of sod-covered sand built on the south face. A total of 34 guns were mounted in the casements on the first and second levels of the fort.

Thirty one guns remained mounted up until the Spanish American War but were removed soon after and the fort was in caretaker status until 1916. In the 1930's and 1940's the fort was used a navigation beacon and for storage of rolls of steel cable used for mines and submarine nets.

Declared surplus in 1946 and turned over to the City of Portland, Maine in 1960.

Current Status

Some restoration but in a deteriorated condition and dangerous to visitors.


Location: Hog Island, Cumberland County, Portland Harbor, Maine.

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.66278 Long: -70.22167

Sources:

Links:

Visited: No

Fort Gorges Picture Gallery

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