Becoming a Museum


Restoration of Fort Western 1919-Present

The Fort taken by the City of Augusta through eminent domain in 1919 was turned over to James Howard's descendants, William H Gannett and Guy P Gannett, in 1920. The Gannett's renovated the garrison and built two new blockhouses patterned after the original blockhouse still standing at Fort Halifax (Winslow, Maine). Since Fort Western and Fort Halifax were constructed in 1754 by Gershom Flagg and Sons, housewrights out of Boston, it was logical to assume the existing block house in Winslow would be similar to the one initially built at Fort Western. The Gannett's then gifted the building back to the City of Augusta, and it opened as a museum on July 4th, 1922. In 1976, Fort Western became a National Historic Landmark. 

As part of the project to build the new Augusta City Hall in 1983, archaeological investigations were conducted to find evidence of outbuildings and fortifications of the Fort before reconstruction. As part of that process, archaeological evidence of the trading post at Cushnoc was discovered. Using written documents such as the probate inventory, account books, and muster rolls in conjunction with the archaeological collection, the Fort was reconstructed and furnished.

Fort Western and Fort Halifax have the distinction of having the two oldest standing French & Indian War-era wooden buildings in the country: the Fort Western garrison and the Fort Halifax blockhouse.

OFW FLagSide