July 4th at the Fort

Come help us commemorate the “Year of the Fort” at Fort Western’s annual July Fourth at the Fort Celebration.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Fort Western Museum. In 1920, the City of Augusta took ownership of the Fort Garrison, which was a tenement at the time, and gave it to Guy Patterson Gannett and William Howard Gannett for renovation. The Gannetts were direct descendants of Captain James Howard who commanded this French & Indian War fort known as Fort Western from 1754, when it was built, until 1767. The Gannetts renovated the old garrison building and built two blockhouses, and a stockade fence before returning the newly renovated building to the City of Augusta in 1922. The Fort Western Museum opened its doors on July 4th, 1922. Over one hundred and sixty-six years from 1754 until 1920, the fort played an integral role in the founding of the City of Augusta. For the last 100 years, the Fort Western Museum has preserved and protected this national Historic Landmark as well as provided an educational experience to teach the public about its importance in Augusta’s, Maine’s, and New England’s history.

The City of Augusta's Fourth of July parade will begin at the State Capitol Parking lot at 10:00 am and proceed down Capitol Street, turning left onto State Street, through Memorial Circle down Water Street, and end at Old Fort Western. The theme this year is "The Year of the Fort: Celebrating the Gannett Legacy." The Grand Marshall will be Genie Gannett, great granddaughter of William Howard Gannett and granddaughter of Guy Patterson Gannett. At noon, Mayor Mark O’Brien will take the stage outside the Fort's palisade to read the Declaration of Independence. The original Declaration was read at the Fort in 1789. Following the reading, there will be Independence Day Cake and lemonade toasts to the future of the Fort Western Museum. A cannonade of 13 volleys will then be made representing the 13 original colonies. The Darling’s Ice Cream Truck will be parked outside the Fort from 1 pm to 3 pm. At 9 pm there will be dual fireworks from the Eastside Boat Landing and Mill Park.

Regular hours for Fort tours will be 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and our normal admission rates apply. The Mayor’s reading and the cannonade are free.