Information on:

Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory

740 Fort Knox Road

Located on the west bank of the Penobscot River in Prospect, Maine, in an area known as the Penobscot Narrows, Fort Knox is one of the best preserved fortifications on the New England seacoast. The Fort has many architectural features present only to itself, as well as a rich history behind its cannon batteries.

Maine was repeatedly involved in northeast border disputes with British Canada, and the area between Castine and the rich lumber city of Bangor was invaded and occupied by the British during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Despite the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842, Fort Knox was established in 1844 to protect the Penobscot River valley against a possible future British naval incursion.

The Fort was designed by Chief Engineer Joseph Totten with a number of other engineers serving as superintendents of construction from 1844 - 1869, among them Isaac Ingalls Stevens and Thomas L. Casey. The Fort was named for Major General Henry Knox, America's first Secretary of War, who was born in Boston but retired to Thomaston, Maine in 1796. The Fort garrisoned its first troops from 1863 to 1866. These troops were mostly volunteers undergoing training before being sent to their active posts and included members of the celebrated 20th Maine. Troops were also briefly stationed at the Fort during the Spanish American war in 1898, but never saw military action.


Gary Boynton

Thursday, June 7, 2018
I've been to Fort Knox multiple times! Not only is it incredibly Scenic, there's some incredible information throughout to let you know what you're looking at. You can easily spend half the day going through all the various places. I've been up in the tower a couple of times, you can definitely see forever. Family friendly, on a hot day it can be very cool to be able to walk through.

Scott Nutting

Sunday, May 27, 2018
This is an amazing place to explore with children of any age. The fort itself is a marvel of engineering and American history and walking around will ignite your imagination. If your lucky, you might even catch some historical reenactments or other events while your there. For instance, when we were there, Union soldiers were firing a cannon every hour. There are lots of tunnels and dark corridors, so bring a flashlight!

Norma-jean Chandonnait

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Fort is in good condition. You can walk all through the fort, bunk areas, places where cannons were. There are even a couple of cannons in place. It's nice to see Maine keeping it open to the public so we can continue to see our history. To many historical places are torn down. Pretty cheap to get in.

Matthew Transue

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
A very neat coastal defense fort, well restored by the Friends of Fort Knox. Bring a flashlight and some care, and spend a few hours exploring! Lots of well put together historical information. Don't miss going up to the top of the observatory if you make it here!

Silas Philbrick

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Fun place. It would be cool if they had “fake” soldiers walking around and stuff. But all in all it’s s fun place. The observatory is awesome!!!!

Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media