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Fort Gorges

Casco Bay
Portland, Cumberland County, Maine

Fort Gorges
Photo: The Library of Congress - American Memory License: Public Domain
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.
The fort was named for the colonial proprietor of Maine, Sir Ferdinando Gorges.

Congress 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 completed in 1865 as the war ended. Modern explosives made the fort obsolete by the time it was completed.

The Fort's armament consisted of thirty-four 10-inch Rodman guns mounted in the fort's casemates. In 1898, all guns were removed from the fort except a large 300-pounder (10 in (254 mm)) Parrott rifle which was on the top of the fort but not mounted. The 300-pounder Parrott rifle still remains in place and is one of the largest surviving specimens of Civil War vintage artillery.

The fort was last used by the Army during World War II, when it was used to store submarine mines.

It was acquired by the city of Portland in 1960 and is now open to the public as a park.

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