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Fort Gorges, Portland

4.6
#3 of 6 in Historic Sites in Portland
Fort Gorges is a former United States military fort built on Hog Island Ledge in Casco Bay, Maine. Built from 1858 to 1864, no battles were fought there and no troops were stationed there. Advancing military technology, including iron clad ships and long range guns, made the fort obsolete before it could be used. The fort is now a park, accessible only by boat. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Following the War of 1812, the United States Army Corps of Engineers proposed that a fort be built on Hog Island Ledge, in Casco Bay at the entrance to the harbor at Portland, Maine. Named for the colonial proprietor of Maine, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, it was constructed to support existing forts, including Fort Preble in South Portland and Fort Scammel built on nearby House Island in 1808. Congress, however, did not fund construction of Fort Gorges until 1857. The walls of the fort were begun the next year, and when the American Civil War broke out in 1861, work quickly advanced.
The fort was designed by Colonel Reuben Staples Smart. The chief architect in charge of construction was Thomas Lincoln Casey, who later became Chief of Engineers. It is similar in size and construction to Fort Sumter, but is built of granite instead of brick.
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Fort Gorges Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
49 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This fortress can be seen far away. Via Info Panels You can discover a lot of extra history.
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  • Saw this for on a Casco Bay cruise and heard its history from the cruise narrator. Beautiful mililtary fort- even if seen from a passing bay cruise. If I come back I would do an actual tour of it.  more »
Google
  • We kayaked out to Fort Gorges on a beautiful day and had a picnic and explored. We left from Eastern Promenade and it took about 20 minutes to paddle out to the fort. I know many people see this beautiful fort in Casco Bay and wonder what's on the inside. Don't be afraid to hop in kayak on a nice day and see it for yourself. Bring a flashlight and some comfortable shoes. The Fort is maintained but there are some obstacles which will need to be avoided.
  • I just explored Fort Gorges with Paul, from the Friends of Fort Gorges. What a wonderful and exciting experience. The fort is an important part of our history. The architecture and intricate design, the materials used and the craftsmen who forged through our changing Maine weather, the soldiers who worked and lived in this fortress. The fort gives you a peak into our history as well as spectacular views of Casco Bay, the islands, the city of Portland and three light houses. Paul is very knowledgeable and passionate about Fort Gorges, he provides an outstanding tour. A must see tour. Pam

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