Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Scammel

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Before I continue I'd like to thank John Hartwell for bringing this fort to my attention.

Fort Scammel is a Third System granite fortification built on House Island in Portland Harbor, Maine.
The fort is named after Colonel Alexander Scammel who was killed at the Siege of Yorktown during the American Revolution. The first fortification built on House Island was a blockhouse and earthwork defenses built in 1808 for the defense of Casco Bay. During the War of 1812 the blockhouse saw action against British forces in August of 1813.
Fort Scammel 1.jpg

Shortly following the outbreak of the American Civil War Fort Scammel saw major changes with the construction of two major granite bastions seen in the picture above connected by extensive earthworks. The fort was supported by Fort Preble on the mainland and Fort Gorges on Hog Island Ledge. In June of 1863 the fort did see some excitement when Confederate raiders, disguised as fishermen, sailed into the harbor and comandeered several vessels before the raiders were captured trying to make a run into open waters.
Fort Scammel 2.jpg

Following the American Civil War plans were made for another bastion on the north side of the fort but this plan was never carried out. During the early 1900s there were anti-aircraft emplacements built on the island however these emplacements were never garrisoned by U.S. troops. For 30 years from 1907 to 1937 the island served as a quarantine station for the United States Department of Immigration.
Fort Edgecomb Blockhouse - 04.jpg

(Fort Edgecomb located in Edgecomb, Maine. This blockhouse is similiar to the one built on House Island in 1808 that saw action in 1813 during the War of 1812.)

Today Fort Scammel still stands on House Island along with several buildings that date back to the quarantine station. The island is privately owned but a few ferry services based out of Portland offer tours of the island that is currently for sale for the small fee of $4.5 million dollars according to internet sources. Visitors to the fort can tour the large granite bastions and their casemates. You can also walk the parade ground and explore several earthwork magazines and the anti-aircraft gun emplacements.

http://fortwiki.com/Fort_Scammel
http://www.portlanddiscovery.com/tours/fort-scammel-casco-bay-cruise/

Links to other "Forgotten Forts Series" forts
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-lancaster.79287/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-craig-nm.79104/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-pike.78757/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-livingston.78737/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-mcallister.78469/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-caswell.78408/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-wool.78325/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-mackinac.77950/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-norfolk.77859/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-clinch.77816/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-adams.77979/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/fort-warren.77775/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/fort-alcatraz.77732/
 

TinCan

Captain
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Location
Transplanted Texan
Back in the day when I visited, you had to ask the rancher who owned the property to get to the site. Since then he's either sold or gave it to the State of Texas and they have a little park there now. You still have to be careful not to disturb the rattlesnakes too much.
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Back in the day when I visited, you had to ask the rancher who owned the property to get to the site. Since then he's either sold or gave it to the State of Texas and they have a little park there now. You still have to be careful not to disturb the rattlesnakes too much.

I actually just live down the road from fort here in Indiana however it is a reconstruction since the orginal hasnt existed since the 1800s. A neat place though, they have a reenactment of the its siege during the War of 1812 every year on its anniversary.
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
Back in the day when I visited, you had to ask the rancher who owned the property to get to the site. Since then he's either sold or gave it to the State of Texas and they have a little park there now. You still have to be careful not to disturb the rattlesnakes too much.
http://www.fortphantom.org/

How do you think Lee got his pet rattlesnake? :smile:
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
There's a great album of photos of Ft. Scammel at:

http://houseislandmaine.com/gallery/fortscammel?page=1

Some of the interior shots (esp. on p. 2) are really spectacular. Anybody care to chip in a few million? Buying the island buys the fort, too!:happy: House Island even has a couple of nice beaches -- however, having swum in Casco Bay, I can verify it's all "blue-leg" bathing (that's the color you'll turn! -- Mainers are a hardy bunch).

Hilaritas!

jno
 

littledoug

Corporal
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Location
iowa
That's a fantastic photo album. Really makes me want to find a way to come up with the additional 4.499999 million to cover the cost.
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
That's a fantastic photo album. Really makes me want to find a way to come up with the additional 4.499999 million to cover the cost.

I would be content just volunteering on the island for a month or so exploring and helping with some minor restoration work on the fort trying to restore it to its glory days. Imagine the things you would probably find just cleaning up some areas.

If some folks with a bush hog, a few mowers, and some weed whackers really went to work on the fort for a week or so just think of what she'd look like. I wish there were more folks out there like us that really have an interest in these types of things.
 
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