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Fort Point State Park

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 is operated by Maine's Bureau of Parks and Lands as a historic lighthouse.

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 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 after ward, 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.