Old Fort Western is set to open Saturday, May 28, for its 2022 tour season.

This day is also the continuation of the 2022 The Year of the Fort celebration, and will highlight the Pilgrim Trading Post at Cushnoc, according to a news release from the fort.

Regular fort hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with ongoing tours of the fort. In addition, there will be stations devoted to teaching about pilgrims’ presence on the Kennebec and the strategic significance of the location of Cushnoc in the history of the Kennebec River and Maine.

Leon Cranmer, retired historic archaeologist from Maine Historic Preservation Commission, will give a tour of the archaeological site from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The footprint of the trading post will be staked out, and artifacts will be available for viewing. Cranmer’s newly reprinted book, “Cushnoc: The History and Archaeology of Plymouth Colony Traders on the Kennebec,” will be available for sale.

Historian Jonathon Yellowbear will give the 17th-century Abenaki perspective. Dr. Bruce Bourque, emeritus curator of archaeology at the Maine State Museum and emeritus senior lecturer in anthropology at Bates College in Lewiston,will discuss the current Merrymeeting Bay Pioneers Project, which traces the lives of the area’s first European settlers.

Old Fort Western staff will talk about the history of Cushnoc and its importance to Fort Western, demonstrate trade among the pilgrims and the native Abenaki using reproduced items, and discuss the reconstruction plans.


At noon an educator from Plimoth-Pawtuxet Museum will give a presentation on Colonial First Families, followed by a presentation on 17th-century games at 1 p.m. A ceremony will launch the Cushnoc Trading Post Reconstruction Project at 3 p.m.

The following books sold in the Old Fort Western gift shop will be discounted by 20% and all proceeds will go towards the Cushnoc reconstruction project. Adult books include “Guide to Historic Plymouth,” James Baker; “Plymouth,” James Baker; “Plymouth,” Donna Curtin; “Plimouth Colony Cookbook,” Plymouth Antiquarian Society; and “Cushnoc: The History and Archaeology of Plymouth Colony Traders on the Kennebec,” Leon Cranmer.

Children’s books include “Mighty Mastiff of the Mayflower,” Peter Arenstam; “1621 Thanksgiving,” National Geographic; “The Story of the Pilgrims,” Newman D’Amico; “Pilgrim House Sticker Book”; and “Tattered Sails,” Verla Kay.

Admission will cost $15 for adults, $13 for veterans and seniors 60 and older, $10 for students and $8 for children 5-14. Active military, children younger than 5, and Augusta residents (with proof) are free.

The 2022 tour season days Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Memorial Day weekend in May: extended weekends in June include Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday; daily in July and August; extended weekends in September through Oct. 10 include Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

To learn more, call 207-626-2385, visit oldfortwestern.org or find it on Facebook.

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