Peak's Island Military Reservation

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Peak's Island Military Reservation (1906-1948) - A World War II Coastal Military Reservation first established in 1906 on Peak Island in Cumberland County, Maine. Named in War Department G.O. 8, 1937. Abandoned in 1948.

Peak Island MR, WWII Fire Control Tower on Site 1I
Peak Island MR, WWII Fire Control Tower on Site 1H

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Portland, Maine.

This reservation consists of three separate sites, purchased/leased at different times. The earliest site is a 19.76 acre site purchased in 1906 and originally used for a pair of searchlights and a combined fire control station. The second site was purchased in 1942-1943 and third site was purchased in 1942. Site #2 was 146.29 acres that expanded the original site and site #3 was .74 acres for a fire control station.

In 1905, a 36" searchlight was installed and accepted for service 26 Dec 1905.

In 1909, a combined fire control station for Battery Ingalls, Battery Preble and Battery Chase was built and accepted for service on 29 Jan 1909 at a cost of $ 5,787.73.

In 1911, a 60" and the existing 36" searchlight (#8 and #9) were installed on new towers (one metal and one wooden) along with a new powerhouse with two 25kw gasoline motor generator sets. This facility was accepted for service 19 Jun 1911 at a cost of $ 18,043.46.

World War I (1917-1918)

Peak Island MR 1921 Plan Shows the Two Searchlights, the Powerhouse and the Combined Fire Control Station

World War II (1941-1945)

The reservation housed Battery 102, Battery 203, Battery AMTB 963, Battery AMTB 964, five BC/fire control stations and an SCR-296 radar during World War II.

Peak's Island MR, Mine Casemate Overbuilt With a House

During World War II Portland Harbor was protected by a series of underwater defenses that included controlled underwater mines, underwater hydrophones and underwater magnetic loop detectors. Many of the small caliber defenses of Portland were focused on protecting the minefields from small fast minesweepers and motor torpedo boats. The mine field defenses included 3" gun batteries, 6" gun batteries, 90mm AMTB gun batteries and portable searchlights.

The Portland Harbor Mine Fields were made up of twenty four groups of 19 mines each. The mine casemate #1 at Fort Williams (1) controlled mine groups 1 to 8 while mine casemate #2 at Peak's Island controlled mine groups 9 to 24. The hydrophones and magnetic loop detectors were generally positioned in front of the mine groups to detect approaching ships. Ship tracks were plotted in the plotting rooms of both mine casemate #1 and #2. Control of the minefields came from the two mine casemates under a group command. Arming and firing the mines was done in the respective mine casemates.

The mine explosive storage facility was located in the abandoned Battery Weymouth and Battery Honeycutt magazines on Fort McKinley. Also located at Fort McKinley was a mine storage building, a mine cable tank, a mine loading room and a mine wharf.


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Portland, Maine, (HDPB-AN-45), 11 Apr 1945, CDSG

Peak's Island Military Reservation World War II Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery 102
Battery Steele (2)
2 16" Casemated Barbette (CBC) 1945-1948 $ ?
Battery 203
Battery Cravens
2 6" Shielded Barbette (SBC) 1945-1948 $ ?
Battery Unnamed 2 3" Pedestal 1942-1945 $ ?
Battery AMTB 963 2
Mobile M1A1
1943-1943-1943-1946 $ ?
Battery AMTB 964 2
Mobile M1A1
1943-1943-1943-1946 $ ?
Source: CDSG
Peak Island Military Reservation Plan

Current Status

Part of Peak Island, Cumberland County, Maine. Mostly on private land except for Battery 102 which is open to the public.Battery 203 has a house on top of it and both the AMTB battery concrete pads are in private yards, three are visible and the outline of the fourth can be seen.

Location: Peak Island, Cumberland County, Maine.

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.660454 Long: -70.179975


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of Portland, Maine, (HDPB-AN-45), 11 Apr 1945, CDSG


Visited: 24 Jun 2012

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