Secret New England: Fort Scammell on House Island
Have you passed an intriguing building and wondered, "What's inside?" I had the chance to tour Fort Scammell on House Island in Casco Bay a few summers ago. It is and amazing piece of architecture that is fun to explore.
Fort Scammell is one of those forts in Portland Harbor that is easily viewed from Bug Light or Spring Point in South Portland. Even though we spent alot of time on the water in Casco Bay when I was a kid, we never ventured to the dark and mysterious fort choked with vegetation and underbrush.
Maine Maritime Museum offered a tour of Fort Scammell on House Island several years ago. The tour was lead by local historian and University of Southern Maine professor, Joel Eastman. Access is only available by boat. So, we boarded from Portland Harbor and crossed to House Island. The island is privately owned and is available to tour by permission only.
It was a bit of a hike from the island dock, but well worth it. We had the chance to explore the fort that was built in 1808 and the climb on the outside as well.
It's one of those adventures that you will remember always. So, if you find yourself with a warm sunny day and you're looking for an adventure, take a tour of Fort Scammell and then you can experience the secrets of the old fort yourself. If you know of any intriguing places to explore in New England, I would love to hear your suggestions.