Battery Blair

Battery Blair

The Town of Cape Elizabeth purchased Fort Williams in 1964, but with limited funds to invest in it, the Fort lay dormant for 10 years. In 1975, a major sewer project generated a huge amount of fill that the Town used to build roads and playing fields in the Park and to cover the gun batteries along the shoreline. Two of the batteries – Sullivan and DeHart – were covered completely, though Battery Blair’s north gun emplacement was left exposed. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1899 naming of Fort Williams, the Fort Williams Park Committee (formerly, Fort Williams Advisory Commission) and a volunteer committee raised funds to turn this one platform into an interpretive center. Located 500′ southwest of Portland Head Light, Battery Blair is now one of the most visited areas in the Park.

In 2009, the Park Committee decided to study the feasibility of unearthing the lower half of Battery Blair’s northern gun emplacement to enable further interpretive display of history at this site. Shortly thereafter, the Friends of Fort Williams Park raised funds for an engineering feasibility study. The 2012 study focused on concrete integrity and groundwater drainage. Restoration cost was estimated at over one million dollars, but further fundraising for the project was tabled by the Friends in view of other projects already underway or under consideration from the 2011 Fort Williams Park Master Plan.

 

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