Portland Head Gentle at Fort Williams Park

Portland Head Gentle at Fort Williams Park

Portland Head Gentle at Fort Williams Park

September‎ 25‎, ‎2023 – Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Problem: Straightforward

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 price for parking in premium areas within the park. Free parking is on the market within the Overflow Lot.

Overview:

Located alongside the shores of Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Portland Head Gentle sits on the entrance of the transport channel into Casco Bay. A well-liked vacation spot for these touring the world’s historic lighthouses or these merely searching for 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 bask in. You possibly can 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 Gentle on its grounds, the park additionally encompasses the decommissioned and largely demolished United States Military put up Fort Williams, which was operational throughout World Battle I and World Battle II.

Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park

Portland Head Gentle at Fort Williams Park

The park gives many nice views of the Portland Head Gentle. Guests can simply take images of the lighthouse from many areas inside the park. Nevertheless, please word that the lighthouse tower is just open to the general public at some point per yr on Maine Open Lighthouse Day.

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Gentle


Historical past:

In 1787, the Common Court docket of Massachusetts (the Massachusetts legislature) supplied $750 to start development of a lighthouse. In 1790, when the US Authorities took over the accountability 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 top and assistant lighthouse keepers and their households.

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Gentle

The US 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 ascertain a sub-post to Fort Preble situated 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 called Fort Williams on April 13, 1899, by order of Military Headquarters. The fort was named in honor of the late Brevet Main-Common Seth Williams, Assistant Adjutant-Common, United States Military.

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

Throughout World Battle 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 put up to a logistical and administrative assist set up for all navy models and personnel within the State of Maine.

On Saturday, June 30, 1962, Fort Williams formally closed and was turned over to the Common 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, concert events and different occasions and has been loved by numerous hundreds of holiday makers and Cape Elizabeth residents alike.

Fort Williams Park

Fort Williams Park


Go to Overview:

This lighthouse was on my record of locations to go to throughout my Maine highway journey. Having visited the Nubble Gentle earlier within the morning, we made our technique to the Portland Head Gentle, which is about an hour north. This was an ideal place to cease and stretch the legs. Apart from the lighthouse, Fort Williams Park has lots 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 wonderful day in September and there have been lots of people visiting, but when one desires, there are some spots the place you’ll find slightly seclusion.


Portland Head Gentle:

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Gentle

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Gentle

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Gentle

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Gentle

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Gentle

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Gentle

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:

If you find yourself carried out testing the lighthouse, you could need to discover different areas of the park. Just remember to both print or obtain a replica of the map, which can show you how to discover the historic factors of curiosity. It might be a disgrace if you happen to visited from distant and missed a few of them. The park is a superb 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 car parking zone and head in direction of the lighthouse, you might be first greeted by the Battery Blair Memorial. The battery, named for Civil Battle Common 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 Battle I and the early years of World Battle 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 variety 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 Gentle and Casco Bay Islands could be seen on a transparent day. Portland Head Gentle situated proper alongside the trail.
Rocky coastline - Fort Williams Park

Rocky shoreline – Fort Williams Park

Ram Island Ledge Gentle Station is a few mile offshore from Portland Head Gentle, 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 top 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 Gentle 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 Gentle Station

Rocky coastline - Fort Williams Park

Rocky shoreline – Fort Williams Park

Searching at Ship Cove with Battery Keyes seen (middle) 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 ideal view of Ram Island Ledge Gentle situated 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 at first of the Civil Battle 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. Critically 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 Common Erasmus D. Keyes (1810–1895), who served with distinction through the U.S. Civil Battle, 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 Speedy Fireplace Weapons on pedestal mounts with a protecting protect, which means they fired 3-inch diameter shells weighing fifteen kilos with a variety of 4 and a half miles. The small battery was designed to defend in opposition to 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 remark station constructed on the highest to relay data on ship areas to the mine officers within the Mining Casemate on the opposite facet of Ship Cove for firing the electrically managed mines. Most 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 operate of the casemate was to regulate the minefield in the primary channel, which was laid through the Spanish-American Battle 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 Battle II Battery Keyes was the “alert” battery, which was manned and ready to fireside 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 now 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 appropriate 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 fulfill {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 be capable 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 fireplace station for Fort Williams at a price 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 fireplace 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 cope with quite a few 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 further factors of curiosity that aren’t included right here, however could also be value looking for out if you happen to go to. Seek the advice of the park map and/or web site so that you simply don’t miss something.


Overview:

Portland Head Gentle and Fort Williams Park are vacationer points of interest and get almost one million guests yearly. That ought to not dissuade you from visiting as there’s a lot to see and do right here. The historic points of the park are fascinating and the scenic panorama of the rocky and jagged shoreline make for an pleasing time. I’d advocate a go to to this park in case you are within the space or taking a highway journey.

Professionals:

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

Cons:

Vacationer attraction and may get crowded throughout peak instances.


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