The historic fort active 1901-1946 on the southwest tip of Gerrish Island in the Kittery Point area of Kittery, Maine. The park offers 88 acres and includes 3 beaches, a trail system that connects the beaches together, a 565 foot pier, picnic tables, charcoal grills, the remains of the fort.
The west bank of the harbor was settled by English colonists in 1630 and named Strawbery Banke, after the many wild strawberries growing there. The village was fortified by Fort William and Mary. Strategically located for trade between upstream industries and mercantile interests abroad, the port prospered. Fishing, lumber and shipbuilding were principal businesses of the region.
In 1774, in the lead-up to the Revolution, Paul Revere rode to Portsmouth warning that the British were coming, with warships to subdue the port. Although the harbor was protected by Fort William and Mary, the rebel government moved the capital inland to Exeter, safe from the Royal Navy. The Navy bombarded Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) on October 18, 1775.
Wood Island Lighthouse This Light is a historic lighthouse marking the mouth of the Piscataqua River between New Castle, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine. It is located on a rocky outcrop offshore southwest of Fort Foster and south of Wood Island in Kittery. A light has been active at this location since 1820; the present tower was built in 1872. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988
At some point the fog bell was replaced with a horn and in 1991, the volume of the horn was reduced because it was damaging the integrity of the structure. The light was automated in 1963.The current lighthouse exhibits two white flashes every 10 seconds and is created by a modern VLB-44 LED light, which was installed in October 2009.
In 1827, the Maine State Legislature ceded Wood Island to the Federal Government. The U.S. Navy is reported to have constructed a barracks there around that time, however, an 1865 photo shows only a barren island. By 1889, a military hospital had been erected along with several outbuildings. Spanish-American War prisoners were quarantined there to prevent the spread of Yellow Fever.
Wood Island LSS 2 copy 2In 1908, the current Life Saving Station and a tool shed were built by Sugden Brothers of Portsmouth, N.H. for the US Life Saving Service. It’s a Duluth-style station designed by architect George R. Tolman and it replaced the original Jerry’s Point Station #12 across the harbor in New Castle, N.H. which had been requisitioned by the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Life Saving Service became part of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915. Many lives had been lost over the years from ship wrecks on the rocky shore of Maine and New Hampshire and now a crew of men were in place to protect mariners.
The US Navy took over the Wood Island Life Saving Station early in World War II to help protect submarine manufacturing at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from German U-Boats patrolling the Atlantic Coast. In 1941 Wood Island was integrated into the coastal defense system. As a strategic observation post, the property was also utilized for securing anti-submarine nets, which were strung across the harbor to thwart German U-Boat infiltration. At the end of the war, the property reverted back to the U.S. Coast Guard. In the early 1950’s U.S.C.G. moved to their present day facility, across the harbor again, to New Castle, N.H. The Life Saving Station has been unused since that time.
Originally built as a Second System fortification with two gun batteries, an upper battery and a lower battery. Post buildings that included two brick riflemen’s houses, a brick barracks and a brick external magazine were located in the upper battery. The fort was built on the site of previous fortifications that included Fort William. In 1844-4 a large octagonal two story blockhouse was built in the upper battery. The blockhouse was built with strong timbers on a stone foundation and included a subterranean magazine located in the center of the blockhouse. Officer’s quarters were located on the upper floor of the blockhouse while the enlisted quarters were on the lower level and the adjacent buildings.
The fort was deactivated in 1844.
Coast Guard 25 Wentworth Rd, New Castle, NH 03854
Capt. John Smith discovered the rugged, storm-swept Isles of Shoals off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire in 1614. The first settlers were Robert, John. and Richard Cutts who came across the seas from Wales to build their huts on the islands. Later Sir William Pepperell established the fishing industry there and laid the foundation for a fabulous fortune. The Pepperell Mills at Biddeford, Maine, stem from this beginning and Sir William was closely associated with Gen. George Washington and Gen. Knox during the Revolution.
The largest of the island group was originally called Hog Island, but this was later changed to Appledore. This island contains about 4 acres and its greatest elevation is 75 feet above the sea. In 1641 the 40 families living on the island incorporated it into a town and here the first church in the Province of Maine was erected, under the direction of the Reverend John Brock. The town flourished through its fisheries and enjoyed an extensive trade with the Spaniards. In 1670, during trouble with the Indians, the inhabitants moved to Star Island, for greater protection.
Today the white conical tower rises 58 feet above ground and 82 feet above the water, and the 170,000-candlepower second-order incandescent oil-vapor light, flashing white every 15 seconds, is visible for 15 miles. An air diaphragm horn blasts for 3 seconds every 30 seconds during fog.
We flew into Portland and spent a few days in the city. We also took a drive down the coast. I highly suggest going to the Tillamook cheese factory and finding a local diner for fresh seafood. We stopped at a local brewery and were pleasantly surprised with the flavors Pelican Brewery produces.
Climbing Mt Saint Helens has been on my bucket list for a while. Read the permit rules and guidelines for hiking this beast. We went at the end of April which gave us the complete seasons this mountain has to offer. The Bivouac was closed due to a large snow storm so we hiked another route so we went to June Lake. The views of the volcanic rocks, gives hikers a clear view. The hike started in the 70’s followed by rain all the way to snow. We hiked all the seasons in 1 day. We also stopped by Ape Cave. Bring a flash light or 7.