Historic Site: Maine’s Fort Kent

Blockhouse Rd., Fort Kent, Maine This area was first settled in the early 1800s by French colonists who were forced

Fort Kent State Historic Site, Maine
The Blockhouse, built of square-hewn cedar logs in 1842, is the anchor of a fort that was named Maine’s first historic site in 1891.

Blockhouse Rd., Fort Kent, Maine

This area was first settled in the early 1800s by French colonists who were forced from their Canadian homes in Acadia (now the Maritime Provinces) when they refused to pledge allegiance to the conquering British.

The great stands of timber attracted lumbermen from Canada and the United States, and border disputes developed. Concerned about its interests, the state of Maine dispatched troops to the area and built a fort at a strategic juncture of the Fish and St. John rivers. Completed in 1839, the fort was named for Gov. Edward Kent. It was armed and manned, but the boundary disputes were settled in 1842, and no shots were ever fired.

The Blockhouse, which housed officers in the mid-1800s, was restored by the Boy Scouts and is maintained by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and a local troop. A collection of antique hand tools is displayed inside.

Parking spaces, water taps, picnic tables, and fireplaces are available on the bank of the Fish River. True to its name, the river yields salmon and trout.

Open Memorial Day–Labor Day.

www.maine.gov/doc/parks

(207) 941-4014

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest