AUGUSTA — Fort Western, the 1754 National Landmark Fort, Store, and House on the Kennebec River at 16 Cony St., will re-open for the 2020 season on Saturday, June 6. Because of COVID-19, its days of operation are reduced and listed below.

For June, admission to the fort is free, and the gift shop will be closed, according to a news release from Linda Novak.

In July, normal admission rates will apply and the gift shop will reopen; however, only debit and credit cards will be accepted; sorry, no cash. As per city policy, all visitors and staff will be required to practice social distancing while on the fort grounds, and wear face masks while in the main fort garrison building.

Fort Western was built in 1754 as part of the 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 Captain James Howard. It was a staging area for the Arnold Expedition in 1775, and in 1778-1779, Capt. Daniel Savage, under the Command of Col. William Howard operated a scouting company out of it. During its 263 years, it has served as a fort, store, private home, and tenement and has played a central role in the founding of Hallowell, Augusta, and the Central Kennebec.

New hours for June: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays; July through October: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, with the last tour of the day starting at 3:30 p.m. The last day for tours will be Oct. 12.

Admission rates for non-Augusta residents: $10 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 14 years old, $8 for seniors and veterans, $25 for family of five, and $1 AAA discounts. Augusta residents and active military are free of charge.

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

filed under: