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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stockton Springs in Waldo County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Fort Point State Park

 
 
Fort Point State Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 20, 2008
1. Fort Point State Park Marker
Inscription.  
Fort Point Light — An Early River Beacon
Established in 1836 to aid the growing number of ships navigating the Penobscot between Bangor and Castine, Fort Point Light Station was built as the first river light in Maine. In 1857, the present tower and keeper's house replaced the original granite structures. The light station's fixed white light, a fourth order Fresnel lens with a 250-watt halogen bulb, is 88 feet above sea level and visible for more than 10 miles. The fog signal, a 1200-pound, cast iron bell suspended on a pyramidal tower built in 1890, is still visible today.

For more than 120 years, civilian keepers, employed by the U. S. Lighthouse Establishment, tended this light station before the Coast Guard assumed operational duties in 1957. Today, with its automated light and fog signal, the light station is operated by Maine's Bureau of Parks and Lands as a historic site.

Pivotal English Outpost — Fort Pownall
In 1758, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Pownall wrote that a fort at the Penobscot River was of utmost importance for the English in their war with the French. Such a fort, wrote
Marker detail: Fort Point State Park map image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Fort Point State Park map
Click or scan to see
this page online
Pownall, would allow the English to possess "fine country" and "the finest bay in North America," as well as keep the French and their Indian allies well inland.

In May 1759, Gov. Pownall brought 400 men here to build Fort Pownall. Soon afterward, Quebec fell to the English, thus ending France's foothold in North America. Though Fort Pownall did not fulfill its military purposes, its presence encouraged later English settlement of the Penobscot region and the fort served as a center for trade.

Tensions ran high here on the eve of the American Revolution. With the approval of the Loyalist then in charge of Fort Pownall, British sailors came ashore one night in March 1775 and secretly removed the fort's guns to keep them out of rebel hands. In return, American rebels burned the blockhouse and filled in the moat to prevent the British occupation of the fort.

Luxury Resort — The Fort Point Hotel
Fort Point began to draw tourists in 1872 with the construction of the Fort Point Hotel. The hotel could accommodate up to 200 guests, most of whom were wealthy elite from Boston and New York City who arrived by steamboat. With its posh clientele and state-of-the-art amenities such as running water, gas lights, stables, a bowling alley, and two dance pavilions, the Fort Point Hotel was built in hopes that the Fort Point area would grow to rival Bar Harbor.
Fort Point Pier (<i>low tide</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 20, 2008
3. Fort Point Pier (low tide)
Unfortunately, the hotel did not succeed, and after four owners and as many names, burned in May of 1898 just before its seasonal opening.

Enjoying Fort Point
Just a short walk from the parking lot, relax at riverside picnic sites and fuel up for hiking, sightseeing, bicycling, fishing, or paddling. Gentle trails lead hikers through field and forest to rocky shores and historic sites. Interpretive signs describe Fort Point's history as a military, maritime, and tourist center. Using park roads, bicyclists leave the parking lot to ride to the lighthouse or to begin the seven-mile loop around Cape Jellison.

Extending 200 feet into the river, the pier provides an excellent vantage point for sightseers to spot a seal or porpoise in the water or an osprey or bald eagle overhead. The pier and tidal sandbar are popular with anglers fishing for salmon, mackerel, and striped bass. With its seasonal floats, the pier allows visitors to launch a kayak or canoe for a paddling excursion or to dock when arriving by powerboat, sailboat, or windjammer.

Keeping Safe
Please use caution around the pier and the sandbar, where rough seas and very strong tidal and river currents can be dangerous. For your protection, please do not leave food unattended or valuables in your vehicle. Please bring drinking water, as there is no running water in the park.

Park
Fort Point Fog Signal image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 20, 2008
4. Fort Point Fog Signal
(1200-pound, cast iron bell)
Rules
• Intoxicating beverages are strictly prohibited.
• Fires are allowed only in the charcoal grills and must be attended at all times. Fires are prohibited on the beaches.
• Pets must be on four-foot leashes at all times In the park.
• Picnic on a carry-in, carry-out basis; visitors must carry out all their refuse.
• Camping is prohibited In this day-use park.

 
Erected by Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesParks & Recreational AreasWar, US RevolutionaryWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 44° 28.107′ N, 68° 48.72′ W. Marker is in Stockton Springs, Maine, in Waldo County. Marker can be reached from State Park Road one mile east of Cape Jellison Road. Marker is located just south of the Fort Point State Park parking area, overlooking the Fort Pownall site and the Fort Point Lighthouse. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stockton Springs ME 04981, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Pownall, 1759-1775 (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Pownall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Home of a Hero (approx. 5.1 miles
Fort Point Light (<i>located about 150 yards south of marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 20, 2008
5. Fort Point Light (located about 150 yards south of marker)
away); Fort George & the Penobscot Expedition (approx. 5.4 miles away); Burial Place of British officers, (approx. 5.4 miles away); Fort George (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Growth of Ship Building (approx. 5˝ miles away); Carver Memorial Library (approx. 5˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stockton Springs.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort Point State Park (Wikipedia). The state park's 156 acres feature the Fort Point Light and the site of historic Fort Pownall. The area was settled by English colonists in 1759 when Governor of Massachusetts Thomas Pownall brought in 400 men under the command of Jedidiah Preble to build Fort Pownall during the French and Indian War. (Submitted on April 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Fort Point State Park. On its 120 acres, the park features more than a mile of rocky shore, a tidal sandbar, and diverse habitat for a variety of plants and animals. Opened in 1974, the park also includes Fort Point State Historic Site and the Fort Point Light Station. (Submitted on April 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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May. 14, 2021