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Fort Frederick, Pemaquid, Maine

The English clenched hand, which answered the brandishing of the French mailed fist at Pentagoet, now Castine, was Fort Frederick at Pemaquid, that anciently known peninsula which marks the entrance to the Kennebec River. Parts of the walls of old Fort Frederick are still standing, its entire outlines are plainly to be discerned, and it is a favorite point of visit with the many people who make their homes in this part of the Maine coast during the summer months. Pemaquid, itself, is one of those long arms of rock, which are characteristic of the Maine coast. A good word picture of the locality has been painted by S. A. Drake, the chronicler of Maine coast history. “A belt of rusty red granite stretches around it above low water mark,” he writes, ” and out into the foaming breakers beyond. Pastures pallid from exhaustion and spotted with clumps of melancholy firs spread themselves out over this foundation. In the extreme corner of this threadbare robe there is a lighthouse. You look about you in vain for the evidences of long occupation which the historic vista has opened to you in advance.” While there have been many wild reports that the settlement on Pemaquid antedated that on Massachusetts Bay, itself, there is lacking weight of historical evidence to support this contention. Pemaquid was visited by Captain John Smith in 1614, but that doughty mariner makes no mention in his account of his visit of having seen any Europeans at the place, as he undoubtedly would have done had his vision encountered any such settlers. William Bradford, the conscientious chronicler of...

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