Fort Williams Park
Fort Williams Park is a 90-acre park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, encompassing numerous historical sites. Perhaps most famous for having Portland Head Light on its grounds, the park also encompasses the decommissioned and largely demolished United States Army post Fort Williams, which was operational during World War I and World War II.
Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light is a lighthouse inside Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Construction began in 1787 at the directive of George Washington, and was completed on January 10, 1791. Today, Portland Head Light stands 80 feet above ground and 101 feet above water, its white conical tower being connected with a dwelling. The 200,000-candlepower, DCB 224 airport-style aerobeacon is visible from 24 miles away. The grounds and the keeper's house are owned by the town of Cape Elizabeth, while the beacon and fog signal are owned and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard as a current aid to navigation. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Portland Head light (sic) on April 24, 1973, reference number 73000121.
Goddard Mansion, a prominent ruin inside Fort Williams Park, was built in 1853-59 for Colonel John Goddard. Colonel Goddard was a businessman who commanded the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment during the American Civil War. The mansion was purchased in 1898 by Judge Joseph W. Symond. In 1900, it was acquired by the federal government during the expansion of Fort Williams. The mansion was converted to quarters for non-commissioned officers and the basement was used as a non-commissioned officer's club. The mansion's remaining walls still stand on the hill overlooking Fort Williams.
A former fort of the United States Army, Fort Williams operated from 1872 to 1964.
After proposals ranging from a Coastal Science Park to low-income housing, the Cape Elizabeth Town Council designated Fort Williams on July 23, 1979, as Fort Williams Park. The park has been maintained for residents and non-residents for no fee. Recreational facilities include two tennis courts, a basketball court, baseball diamond, a course for physical fitness, picnic tables and cookout facilities, a picnic shelter, and recreational opportunities for walking, running, and dogwalking. All visitors to Portland Head Light pass through the park, adding to its visibility. The Beach to Beacon 10K is one of the park's largest events of the year.