A few months ago I saw a program called Brad Meltzer’s Decoded and the Episode was about Fort Knox and whether there was really gold stored there or not. Of course they were investigating Fort Knox, Kentucky. I don’t know about you but I didn’t know there was also a Fort Knox in Maine. In fact since Fort Knox ME was built in 1844 it is actually the FIRST Fort Knox predating the Kentucky Fort Knox by around 70 years as building didn’t begin on the Kentucky fort until 1918.
Fort Knox was built to protect the Penobscot River Valley from Naval Attack. Located in the town of Prospect, ME, Fort Knox is also known as Fort Knox State Park or Fort Knox State Historical Site.
During the American Revolution and again during the War of 1812 enemy ships entered the Penobscot. During both wars Great Britain seized control of the river, fought battles in the surrounding towns and claimed the land for the British Crown.
To prevent history from repeating itself for a 3rd time, the American Government authorized the building of a fort on the Penobscot Narrows. This was the first and largest granite fort built in Maine. The design was similar to later Maine forts such as Fort Popham on the Kennebec and Fort Gorges, Fort Preble and Fort Scammel in Casco Bay (Portland).
The fort saw two periods of military activity. From 20-54 troops were garrisoned here during the Civil War. Around 575 troops from Connecticut lived at the fort for a month during the Spanish-American War.
No enemy ships ever appeared on the Penobscot during these wars.
More detailed information and maps of the fort can be found on their website: http://www.knox.army.mil/
The day we visited it was very hot and humid which we were told is very unusual so climbing around the grounds was quite strenuous but we had a good time just the same.
Combined with the Observatory at the top of the bridge, it made for a memorable stop.
Now to address the question in the title, Is there Gold in Fort Knox? I would say with some assurance that the only gold in Fort Knox, Me is the rich historical heritage of the site. As for the question of Gold in Fort Knox Kentucky, I will leave that to Mr. Meltzer and his crew to investigate.
Our last morning in Bar Harbor found us trying breakfast at the Cottage Street Bakery and Restaurant because we hadn’t tried any pop-overs yet and they had pop-overs. They also had an outside deck and it looked like we were going to have another beautiful day.
Breakfast was just as good as at The Great Maine Breakfast and the pop-overs yummy. We took a few minutes after breakfast to wander around a little more and grab a few last pictures and then it was back on the road. What a nice mini vacation.
We decided not to detour back to the winery but just to go home. Along the way we had to cross the bridge we’d crossed on the way up. Approaching it from the other side we could see what looked like an old fort. Then JR spotted a sign and a turn off. We had time so off the exit we went to squeeze in one more adventure.
We followed the little road up to an entry hut like a toll booth. We asked the attendant about the Fort and she mentioned that we could go up the bridge too! That sounded really cool so we paid our entrance fee, followed the road to the upper lot where we could park and walk down to the bridge.
As we walked down the path to the entrance to the bridge we could hear a bird screeching. To me it sounded like a raptor of some kind but I couldn’t see anything.
An attendant gave us instructions on how to exit the elevator before he would let us on the car and then, whoosh, we were whisked up 420 feet in 60 seconds to the observation deck at the top of the supports. What a view! This is amazing! All glass, we could walk all around the enclosed elevator shaft and see views that spread out in all 4 directions. If you are afarid of heights you may not be as thrilled with this as I am. You’re really high up!
The bridge spans the Penocscot River Narrows and the elevator up is fastest elevator in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont . That ride will take you to the top of the tallest public bridge-observatory in the world! AWESOME!
Pictures taken through the glass walls and we headed back down to ground level. The attendant was there waiting when we came back. He made a comment that there hadn’t been too many “Bird Watchers” out this year. This got my attention and I asked him what we were hearing when we came in. He said there was a nest box on one of the cross bars of the old bridge. He pointed it out to us and went on to say that there were baby Peregrine Falcons in there and that was what we were hearing. He said they screech like that when they get hungry. As we headed back to go to check out the fort we looked again. We could see the nest box but no falcons. Too bad , that would have been very cool to see.
It’s really nice to see the old and the new, the two bridges side by side. As far as I could tell the old bridge is not open at all anymore but I hope they keep it for contrast…and a place for the Falcons to continue nesting. 🙂
Back at the motel we each freshened up a bit and then it was back out to find someplace to have dinner. It was still sunny and hot so we wanted to find someplace we could eat outside to take advantage of the beautiful weather.
Down by the harbor is a public parking lot. It was busy but not full and we soon located a spot. The sail boat we’d seen moored nearby was loading up and heading out. We finally got to see it with a full rigging. That was beautiful. I’m glad we finally got to see that.
For some reason JR did not want to eat at the first restaurant we saw with outdoor tables so we wandered along the street a bit more until we reached Stewman’s Restaurant.
This one was acceptable and we were soon seated on the deck under a big umbrella. The waiter recommended the lobster (of course) but I preferred to be a little more conservative and went back to my favorite…you guessed it…scallops ..again. I just couldn’t seem to get enough of them. They just melted in your mouth.
We took our time over dinner until we noticed the sun was beginning to drop lower in the sky. If we wanted to get to Cadillac Mountain for sunset we had to get moving.
On our way we tried the Sand Beach again. You’ll recall that the parking area was full when we stopped this morning. Now it was deserted. We spent some time roaming the beach and taking pictures being careful not to linger too long and lose the light. Then it was back on the road to the top.
We passed a beaver lodge but didn’t see the beaver and skipped most of the scenic pull overs until we were closer to the top.
By then the sun was dropping behind the mountains and the sky was starting to glow. Our last stop before the top was the look out right below the summit. As we came around the corner it was clear that the sky was on fire. Not wanting to miss the spectacular colors we stopped and enjoyed the moment.
It was a good thing we stopped there because by the time we reached the top the most dramatic colors had passed. The softer pink after glow was bathing the landscape. A breeze was blowing and it was much more comfortable than it had been earlier in the day.
The summit was still a busy place even as the day was drawing to a close. What a way to wrap up our visit because our we’d be heading back to real life the next morning.