AUGUSTA — Old Fort Western, the 1754 National Landmark fort, store and house on the Kennebec River in downtown Augusta, will re-open for the summer 2012 season, this weekend. Hours will be 1-4 p.m. daily.

Old Fort Western was built in 1754 as part of Massachusetts military and settlement expansion into the Kennebec River Valley. During the French and Indian War, soldiers were stationed at the Fort under the command of Capt. James Howard. Once the war ended, Howard purchased the property and, with his sons, operated a store until 1807. One of those sons, William Howard, converted the north end of the garrison building into a private residence where members of the Howard family continued to reside into the 1840s.

Beginning about 1870, the main house was converted into tenements to house workers attracted to manufacturing, publishing, and other jobs in Augusta. An exhibit is being created to showcase this era of the fort, 1840-1919. This exhibit is in its beginning stages and its progression and completion can be seen during the summer.

There will be demonstrations, activities and more all weekend. Events will include tape loom and spinning demonstrations in the parlor, blacksmithing at the forge, and the Fort Richmond archaeological field laboratory will be operational and participants can see how archeological artifacts are processed. Weather permitting, Saturday or Sunday, John Maxson of Le Voyageur Trading Co. will demonstrate and sell period games, flags and toys. On Sunday ,The James Howard Co., French and Indian War re-enactors, will be on hand to drill.

Admission cost $6 for adults, $4 for children 6-16 years old and free for children younger the 6. Augusta residents are admitted free.

For more information, visit oldfortwestern.org or call 626-2385.


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