Known for its defensive location on the rocky Atlantic shores of southern Maine, Fort McClary has been the site of fortification since the late 1600s. Although the present blockhouse shown above wasn’t built until 1844, so much dramatic history has been present at this location prior to that date.
When William Pepperell, a local shipbuilder, acquired the land in 1689, he constructed a defensive boundary on the property.
During the Revolutionary War, the fort was seized by Patriots and hosted two cannons.
In 1808, Fort McClary was officially established by the U.S. government. The second system of fortifications gave funding for the founding of this fort.
The name Fort McClary came from Major Andrew McClary who was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill.
The main blockhouse was built in 1844 and in the photo above you can see the riflemans house is still standing from 1808.
The fort did not play much of a role during the Civil War and following the years into reconstruction was involved the in third system fortification.
The fort had little roles for civilian use during World War II and was signed over as a historic site in 1969.
Today Fort McClary is a state historic site available to be toured by visitors. Be sure to contact the fort to see current hours and admission.
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Tip from the Writer
The peaceful harbor that this fort sits upon is very calming. The tranquil Atlantic Coast and the historical landmark make for a unique place to visit. My favorite part about the fort was the tunnels that were made of brick. These tunnels allow guests to underground to look out over the harbor.