Fort Popham (1862-1924) - A Third System fort authorized in 1857, construction started in 1862 but was never completed. Located in Sagadahoc County, Maine. Named after Captain George Popham, founder of the 1607 Popham Colony. Sold to the State of Maine in 1924.
Third System (1816-1867)
Part of the Harbor Defense of the Kennebec River, Maine. Constructed to protect the mouth of the Kennebec River and the approaches to Augusta and the Bath Iron Works.
Built to mount 42 heavy guns in a three tier half moon shaped granite fort. Only two tiers of casemates were completely finished. A Thirty foot curved granite wall faced the river side of the fort with a straight wall facing the land side. Internally the fort housed two barracks, a subterranean cistern and two magazines located in each of the two demibastions. Two circular stair towers provide access to each casemate tier and the unfinished parapet. A moat separated the fort from the land side.
U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)
The fort was garrisoned during the U.S. Civil War and after, up until 1869 when construction was halted.
Endicott Period (1890-1910)
Fort Popham was regarrisoned briefly during the Spanish American War and had a single 8 inch breach loaded gun mounted in a temporary concrete emplacement exterior to the old fort along with four 15" Rodman smoothbore cannons. The 8 inch gun was still in place on 31 Dec 1910 but by 31 Dec 1916 it was no longer carried on the records. The records show this was an 8" M1888MI BL rifle, serial number 15, mounted on a 15" Rodman smoothbore carriage. Still mounted on 31 Dec 1903 were two 8" Rodman guns and carriages, and one 100 pounder Parrott gun and carriage.
The post was in the care of an Ordnance Sergeant for much of the time during the Endicott Period.
World War I (1917-1918)
Regarrisoned for the last time during World War I.
Sold to the State of Maine for $6,600 on 27 Feb 1924 with the provision that it be used for public park purposes only. Title to the land would revert to the United States if it was put to any other purpose.
World War II (1941-1945)
Fort Baldwin and Fort Popham were federalized immediately after the declaration of war in 1941. Battery D, 8th Coastal Artillery, was deployed in late December to man both forts. Old Fort Popham was used as a motor pool and storage area for Fort Baldwin and was never armed.
Part of Fort Popham State Historic Site. Operates Memorial Day - September 30.
Location: 15 miles from Bath, Maine on Route 209, Sagadahoc County, Maine.
Maps & Images
Lat: 43.755062 Long: -69.783711
- Weaver, John R. II, A Legacy in Brick and Stone: America Coastal Defense Forts of the Third System, Redoubt Press, McLean, 2001, First Printing, ISBN 1-57510-069-X, page 73-74
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 370
- U.S.A.C.E., Phippsburg, ME Archives Search Report, Findings, Fort Popham Large pdf download
- North American Forts - Fort Popham]
- Wikipedia - Fort Popham
- Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands
Visited: 14 Jun 2012
Fort Popham Picture Gallery
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