Portland Head Mild at Fort Williams Park

September‎ 25‎, ‎2023 – Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Problem: Simple

Map: Fort Williams Park

Parking: Fort Williams Park – 1000 Shore Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

  • Fort Williams Park follows a carry-in/carry-out coverage.
  • Fort Williams Park is a public park that’s open year-round from dawn to sundown.
  • From April 1 to November 15, there’s a payment for parking in premium areas within the park. Free parking is offered within the Overflow Lot.

Overview:

Located alongside the shores of Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Portland Head Mild sits on the entrance of the delivery channel into Casco Bay. A preferred vacation spot for these touring the world’s historic lighthouses or these merely in search of a quintessential coastal scene on their go to to Maine. The lighthouse, a fee of George Washington, is Maine’s oldest, courting to 1791.

Fort Williams Park is unfold throughout greater than 90 acres of leisure space, offering guests with a plethora of actions to take pleasure in. You’ll be able to plan a picnic, fly a kite, stroll alongside the pathways, discover the rocky seashore, tour the Arboretum, take a stroll on the cliffside loop, or benefit from the playground.

Fort Williams Park

Fort Williams Park

Well-known for having Portland Head Mild on its grounds, the park additionally encompasses the decommissioned and largely demolished United States Military submit Fort Williams, which was operational throughout World Warfare I and World Warfare II.

Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park

Portland Head Mild at Fort Williams Park

The park presents many nice views of the Portland Head Mild. Guests can simply take pictures of the lighthouse from many areas throughout the park. Nonetheless, please notice that the lighthouse tower is just open to the general public in the future per yr on Maine Open Lighthouse Day.

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Mild


Historical past:

In 1787, the Basic Court docket of Massachusetts (the Massachusetts legislature) offered $750 to start development of a lighthouse. In 1790, when the US Authorities took over the duty of all lighthouses, Congress appropriated $1,500 for its completion. The unique tower measured 72′ from base to lantern deck and was lit with 16 whale oil lamps. It was first lit on January 10, 1791. By 1865, the tower was raised 20′ and a 2nd order Fresnel lens was put in. This lens was within the lighthouse till 1958. The present Keepers’ Quarters constructing was constructed in 1891 as a two-story duplex. Till 1989, it was dwelling to the pinnacle and assistant lighthouse keepers and their households.

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Mild

America Coast Guard maintains the precise mild and the fog sign, however the the rest of the property is managed by the City of Cape Elizabeth.

The unique 14-acre buy in 1872 served to determine a sub-post to Fort Preble positioned at Spring Level. Over about 25 years, a complete of 90 acres had been bought to develop a fortification at Portland Head. These childhood noticed the primary three batteries — Sullivan, DeHart, and Hobart — accomplished on April 16, 1898.

This fortification turned often known as Fort Williams on April 13, 1899, by order of Military Headquarters. The fort was named in honor of the late Brevet Main-Basic Seth Williams, Assistant Adjutant-Basic, United States Military.

Throughout World Warfare I, the fort was absolutely manned by artillery corporations and Nationwide Guard troops. Anti-aircraft weapons had been added to the defenses throughout this time.

Throughout World Warfare II, Fort Williams served because the headquarters of the Harbor Defenses of Portland. In January, 1950, Fort Williams’ mission was formally modified from a harbor protection submit to a logistical and administrative assist set up for all army items and personnel within the State of Maine.

On Saturday, June 30, 1962, Fort Williams formally closed and was turned over to the Basic Companies Administration to be bought. At a particular city assembly on June 29, 1964, the residents of Cape Elizabeth voted to purchase Fort Williams. Their provide of $200,000 was accepted and on December 1, 1964, the City of Cape Elizabeth acquired Fort Williams.

After many proposals starting from a Coastal Science Park to low-income housing, the City Council designated Fort Williams on July 23, 1979, as “Fort Williams Park.” Since that point, Fort Williams Park has been host to many picnics, live shows and different occasions and has been loved by numerous 1000’s of tourists and Cape Elizabeth residents alike.

Fort Williams Park

Fort Williams Park


Go to Overview:

This lighthouse was on my listing of locations to go to throughout my Maine highway journey. Having visited the Nubble Mild earlier within the morning, we made our option to the Portland Head Mild, which is about an hour north. This was an incredible place to cease and stretch the legs. Except for the lighthouse, Fort Williams Park has so much to see and discover. I wandered across the park for a few hours and noticed most if not all there’s to see. It was a stupendous day in September and there have been lots of people visiting, but when one desires, there are some spots the place you’ll find a bit of seclusion.


Portland Head Mild:

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Mild

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Mild

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Mild

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Mild

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Mild

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Mild

Annie C. McGuire Shipwreck Memorial: A big rock close to the lighthouse commemorates the wreck of the Annie C. Maguire. Late on Christmas Eve in 1886, the three masted bark struck the ledge at Portland Head.

Annie C. McGuire Shipwreck Memorial

Annie C. McGuire Shipwreck Memorial

Fort Williams Park:

When you find yourself executed testing the lighthouse, you might need to discover different areas of the park. Just be sure you both print or obtain a duplicate of the map, which is able to assist you to discover the historic factors of curiosity. It could be a disgrace for those who visited from distant and missed a few of them. The park is an excellent place to wander round and benefit from the attractive panorama whereas getting a historical past lesson about our nice nation.

  • Battery Blair: As you allow the primary parking zone and head in the direction of the lighthouse, you’re first greeted by the Battery Blair Memorial. The battery, named for Civil Warfare Basic Francis P. Blair (1821-1875), is the positioning of the most important of six gun batteries constructed at Fort Williams. Battery Blair was manned throughout World Warfare I and the early years of World Warfare II. It was hidden from view at sea behind a concrete and earth berm, it contained two twelve-inch weapons mounted on disappearing carriages. It was designed to guard Portland Harbor from enemy assaults by battleships and cruisers, the twelve-inch weapons mounted at Battery Blair had been the most important in use on the time. These weapons firing a 12-inch diameter, 1,000 pound shell, had a spread of 8 miles. The weapons fired armor-piercing shells on a flat trajectory to breach the closely protected hulls of battleships.
Battery Blair Memorial

Battery Blair Memorial

Battery Blair Memorial

Battery Blair Memorial

  • Cliff Stroll at Fort Williams Park: This crushed stone path winds alongside the scenic cliffs and historic stays of Fort Williams. Views of Ram Island Ledge Mild and Casco Bay Islands could be seen on a transparent day. Portland Head Mild positioned proper alongside the trail.
Rocky coastline - Fort Williams Park

Rocky shoreline – Fort Williams Park

Ram Island Ledge Mild Station is a couple of mile offshore from Portland Head Mild, close to the doorway to Portland Harbor, and is surrounded by harmful ledges. The primary stones had been laid on Ram Island Ledge in July 1903. By the tip of September, the tower reached a top of 32 toes. A crew of 25 males labored from April to July 1904 to finish the tower. A 26,000-pound lantern was positioned on the tower and fitted with a third-order Fresnel lens. With the lantern, the lighthouse reached a top of 90 toes, with the sunshine 77 toes above imply excessive water.

Ram Island Ledge Light Station

Ram Island Ledge Mild Station

An iron pier was added to the ledge, and the kerosene lamp was first lighted on January 23, 1905.

Ram Island Ledge Light Station

Ram Island Ledge Mild Station

Rocky coastline - Fort Williams Park

Rocky shoreline – Fort Williams Park

Searching at Ship Cove with Battery Keyes seen (heart) on the far facet of the cove.

Ship Cove - Fort Williams Park

Ship Cove – Fort Williams Park

Rocky coastline - Fort Williams Park

Rocky shoreline – Fort Williams Park

Situated on the north facet of the doorway highway is a small rocky seashore, Ship Cove, with an incredible view of Ram Island Ledge Mild positioned in Casco Bay. At low tide, a small sandy seashore seems.

Ship Cove - Fort Williams Park

Ship Cove – Fort Williams Park

  • Goddard Mansion: Predating the fort, the mansion was designed and constructed (1858) for native businessman John Goddard, briefly a volunteer military colonel in the beginning of the Civil Warfare in 1861. Acquired by the military in 1900, the mansion was used as NCO Quarters (non-commissioned officers/sergeants) and later included an NCO Membership. Severely deteriorated by the point of the city’s acquisition in 1962, the inside particles was burned in a managed hearth within the Eighties, and the partitions had been fenced off in 2009.
Goddard Mansion - Fort Williams Park

Goddard Mansion – Fort Williams Park

  • Battery Keyes (1906): Named after Main Basic Erasmus D. Keyes (1810–1895), who served with distinction through the U.S. Civil Warfare, the battery was constructed above the northern level of Ship Cove behind Goddard Mansion.
Battery Keyes - Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes – Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes was one of many final two batteries constructed on the fort in 1906. This concrete battery mounted two 3-inch Fast Fireplace Weapons on pedestal mounts with a protecting protect, that means they fired 3-inch diameter shells weighing fifteen kilos with a spread of 4 and a half miles. The small battery was designed to defend towards small, quick assault boats in a point-and-shoot method. Nonetheless intact are gun emplacement quantity two, the magazines, and the vary finder station.

Battery Keyes - Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes – Fort Williams Park

The battery additionally included a mine commentary station constructed on the highest to relay info on ship areas to the mine officers within the Mining Casemate on the opposite facet of Ship Cove for firing the electrically managed mines. Lots of the doorways resulting in the first-level rooms are open for exploration, providing a glimpse into this historic construction.

Battery Keyes - Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes – Fort Williams Park

This Mining Casemate was initially constructed in 1891. The perform of the casemate was to regulate the minefield in the primary channel, which was laid through the Spanish-American Warfare and World Wars I and II to forestall the entry of hostile vessels.

Mining Casemate - Fort Williams Park

Mining Casemate – Fort Williams Park

Throughout World Warfare II Battery Keyes was the “alert” battery, which was manned and ready to fireplace on any vessel which didn’t determine itself correctly.

Battery Keyes - Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes – Fort Williams Park

Whereas the unique weapons and mounts are not current, the concrete core of the battery stays in comparatively good situation.

Battery Keyes - Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes – Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes - Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes – Fort Williams Park

A CRF (Coincidence Vary Finder) Station was constructed to the precise of Battery Keyes in 1921, a extra trendy hearth management system for the larger gun batteries on the fort.

Battery Keyes - Fort Williams Park

Battery Keyes – Fort Williams Park

  • Central Powerhouse: This constructing was accomplished in 1905 because the central powerhouse for Fort Williams by the Quartermaster Corps. The construction was constructed of strengthened concrete and sited on this sheltered spot to guard it from the fireplace of hostile vessels.
Central Powerhouse - Fort Williams Park

Central Powerhouse – Fort Williams Park

Inside, coal-fired boilers produced steam to show turbines to satisfy {the electrical} wants of the fort. Later, electrical energy was bought from the native public utility and the powerhouse was maintained as an emergency energy plant. The tools was maintained and periodically examined in order that this plant would instantly have the ability to present electrical energy for the fort.

Central Powerhouse - Fort Williams Park

Central Powerhouse – Fort Williams Park

The small brick constructing adjoining to the powerhouse was constructed to deal with electrical transformers.

Central Powerhouse - Fort Williams Park

Central Powerhouse – Fort Williams Park

  • Fireplace Station: This constructing was accomplished in 1911 by the U. S. Military Quartermaster Corps as a hearth station for Fort Williams at a value of $3,586. It was constructed of brick on a concrete basis and the roof and tower, used for drying hoses, are slated. The constructing housed a hearth engine, a hook and ladder truck, and two hand-drawn hose carts.
Fire Station - Fort Williams Park

Fireplace Station – Fort Williams Park

Initially, enlisted males had been assigned to responsibility on the hearth station, however through the interwar interval civilian personnel had been employed to function firemen as an financial system measure. The hearth firm was referred to as out to take care of numerous fires. through the seventy-year historical past of the fort, and it additionally aided the Cape Elizabeth Fireplace Division.

Fire Station - Fort Williams Park

Fireplace Station – Fort Williams Park


There are extra factors of curiosity that aren’t included right here, however could also be value in search of out for those who go to. Seek the advice of the park map and/or web site so that you simply don’t miss something.


Overview:

Portland Head Mild and Fort Williams Park are vacationer sights and get practically 1,000,000 guests yearly. That ought to not dissuade you from visiting as there’s a lot to see and do right here. The historic facets of the park are fascinating and the scenic panorama of the rocky and jagged shoreline make for an fulfilling time. I might suggest a go to to this park if you’re within the space or taking a highway journey.

Execs:

Portland Head Mild, rocky shoreline, Atlantic Ocean, historic options.

Cons:

Vacationer attraction and may get crowded throughout peak instances.


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