Fort McClary

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Fort McClary (1808-1918) - A Second System Coastal Fort first established in 1808 on Kittery Point in York County, Maine. Named for Major Andrew McClary, who died in 1775 at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolutionary War. Abandoned in 1918.

Fort McClary Blockhouse Interior
Fort McClary Gun Battery
Fort McClary 2012
Fort McClary circa 1902

Second System (1808-1816)

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 (3).

In 1844-46 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.

Third System (1816-1867)

Third System Powder Magazine

Proposed to be upgrade to a full Third System fort by Brig. Gen. Joseph G. Totten, Chief Engineer of the United States Army. The fort was to work in conjunction with Fort Constitution (2) to guard the entrance to Portsmouth harbor. Construction began in 1863 but was curtailed soon after the end of the U.S. Civil War. The partially complete walls can be seen today.

The Third System fort was constructed as an irregular pentagon with three sides and two bastions to the rear and two sides facing the water. A caponier was centered between the two walls facing the water. The original blockhouse, the magazine and a barracks were among the structures at the center of the new fortifications. Protection was provided for both the land side and the sea side. The walls were never completed above the first tier and modifications in the form of earthworks were built as temporary protection.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Three 15" Rodman smoothbore cannons were emplaced during the Spanish-American War as a temporary defense. These smoothbore cannons were still emplaced as late as 7 Dec 1903.

Fort McClary Endicott Period Battery (edit list)
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Battery Cost Notes
Battery Unnamed 3 15" SB Rodman Iron Carriage 1898-190? $ ? In place 7 Dec 1903
Source: CDSG
Fort McClary Plan

World War I (1917-1918)

Equipped as an observation post during World War I and closed in 1918 at the end of the war.

Current Status

Part of Fort McClarey State Historic Site on Kittery Point, York County, Maine. Partially completed walls remain with cut granite stone blocks scattered about. Buildings on the site include the refurbished blockhouse, magazine and the shell of the Rifleman's house. Foundations of the second Rifleman's house and the barracks are exposed.

Location: Fort McClary State Historic Site, York County, Maine.

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.0831445 Long: -70.7089412



Visited: 20 Jun 2012

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