Becoming a Museum

OFW FLagSide

Restoration of Fort Western 1919-Present

The Fort was taken by the City of Augusta through eminent domain in 1919 and turned over to Howard descendants William H Gannett and Guy P Gannett between 1921 and 1922. The Gannett’s renovated the garrison and built two new blockhouses patterned after the original blockhouse that remained at Fort Halifax. They 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.  In 1983, as part of the project to build the new Augusta City Hall, archaeological investigations were conducted to find the evidence of outbuildings and palisades of the fort prior to 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 & 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.