|View From Kittery Point Looking Toward Portsmouth Harbor|
Cross the bridge over the Pistaqua River separating New Hampshire from Maine and proceed a short way and you'll see the sign off Route 1 for Kittery Point, Maine. Settled back in 1632, fishermen, hunters and trappers were the first residents of these parts. Along the coastline stands Fort McClary used as a defensive fortification in the 19th Century guarding the entrance to the Pistaqua River. The fort is named after Major Andrew McClary of New Hampshire. He was the highest ranking officer
killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. Today, a blockhouse, walls, earthen works and remnants of other buildings along with the tunnel system remain as reminders of what is was like for the young American nation to stand guard against invasion. That invasion took place in 1812 when once again the United States was at war with England. The fort was manned for five different war periods: The Revolutionary War, War of 1812, American Civil War, Spanish American War and World War I.
Today the blockhouse (built in 1844) and remnants of the walls stand at the site. It is an ideal spot for a day trip with great vistas of the Portsmouth Harbor area. There are numerous granite blocks in different piles leftover remnants of construction that was never finished. Construction was halted in the late 1800's when the rise of superior naval firepower made these coastal fortifications rather obsolete. You can also visit the former powder magazine and underground bastion that housed large cannons aimed toward the entrance of the harbor.