2012-10-19 / Front Page

Cleanup day set for Fort Preble

Volunteers will gather at Southern Maine Community College

SOUTH PORTLAND  - Volunteers are invited to join the Fort Preble Preservation Committee on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a workday at the 204-year-old fort on the Southern Maine Community College South Portland Campus.

A group of faculty, staff, students and residents will gather for the annual fall cleanup day, making small repairs and cleaning the grounds of Fort Preble. In the past, the group has removed invasive plants, scraped and painted iron works and cleaned out some of the underground and above ground fortifications.

As a bonus to all those who take part, the Fort Preble Preservation Committee will open up some of the underground rooms and conduct tours at the end of the day. This is a chance for history buffs to take an active role in the preservation of a site that was active militarily as early as King George’s war until the fort’s decommissioning after World War II.

Fort Preble was built in 1808, periodically modernized and manned until 1950, when it became Southern Maine Community College’s (an early incarnation of the school, at any rate). Confederate sailors were imprisoned here after an unsuccessful raid on the harbor in 1863. The college today uses several of the former fort’s historic buildings on campus and works in partnership with the preservation committee to maintain the bunkers and other features.

Volunteers are asked to meet in the parking lot between the Transportation Building at 123 McKernan Drive and Bunker Lane at 10 a.m. Wear shoes, clothes and gloves appropriate for outdoor work, and bring hand tools if possible.

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