Fort Western, the 1754 national landmark fort, store, and house on the Kennebec River in downtown Augusta, will open for the 2021 season on Saturday, May 29.

Fort Western was built 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 Capt. James Howard.

It was the location of the S & W Howard Store, established in 1767, and in operation until 1807, catering to the early settlers of “Hallowell” (Hallowell, Augusta, Sidney, Chelsea, Manchester). 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 267 years, Fort Western has served not only as a fort and store, but also a private home, and tenement and has played a central role in the founding of Hallowell, Augusta, and the Central Kennebec.

Because of the coronavirus, safety protocols remain in place including the wearing of face masks inside the buildings.

Hours for Memorial Day weekend through June are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday; July and August hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; hours from September to Oct. 11 are set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The last tour of the day starts at 3:30 p.m.

Admission rates are $10 for adults, $6 for children (6-14), $8 for seniors and veterans, $25 for a family of five, and $1 AAA discounts. Augusta residents and active military will be admitted free of charge. For more information, visit oldfortwestern.org or call 207-626-2385.

 

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