Machiasport, Maine

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Machiasport is a town in Washington County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,160 at the 2000 census. Machiasport is a historic seaport and tourist destination.

Contents

History

In 1775, following the capture of the British ship HMS Margaretta by locals under leadership of Jeremiah O'Brien, the residents built a small breastworks here to guard the mouth of the Machias River and the area settlements. Later that year, the British sent four ships under the command of Sir George Collier that defeated the local militia, destroyed the breastworks, and burned several buildings. In 1777, the fort was rebuilt as a crescent shaped four-gun battery. In 1781 it was made part of the national defense and named Fort O'Brien. In 1808-1809, Lemuel Trescott of Eastport oversaw the construction of a blockhouse, barracks and battery. During the War of 1812, in September 1814[1] the British captured the fort and burnt the barracks.[2]

In 1863, during the American Civil War, Fort Machias was built adjacent to the ruins of Fort O'Brien. It was a five-gun earthworks fort with Napoleon 12-pound cannon. It was actively manned from 1863 to 1865. In 1923, the U.S. government transferred the sites of both forts to the state of Maine. As of 2006, they are managed as a historic site by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.[3] In 1969, they were added to the National Register of Historic Places, as structure #69000024.[4]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 62.3 square miles (161.3 km²), of which, 21.3 square miles (55.3 km²) of it is land and 40.9 square miles (106.0 km²) of it (65.71%) is water. Drained by the Machias River, the town is located at the head of Machias Bay on the Gulf of Maine, part of the Atlantic Ocean.

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