The boat captain,Hal Cushing and his sister Karen live on House Island and run the private tours to Fort Scammel. This is a private island accessible only by boat, we arranged for the tour when he took us to Cushing Island on the 29th.
Hal and his family have lived on the island for many years. The island is now for sale for $4.5 million and includes the 3 houses and fort. The name House Island comes from the site of the first house built in Casco Bay.
Fort Scammel was built in 1808 and the only fort in the Harbor to be fired upon and to fire a shot in 1813.The fort at that time consisted of a Battery and Blockhouse. It was rebuilt in 1862 during Civil War with the East and West Bastion. By 1903 all armaments were gone. We toured the East Bastion. See the Fort Scammel page on FortWiki.com.
From 1907 to 1937, the island served as a quarantine station for immigrants. It was busiest after 1920 due to the Emergency Quota Act which permitted only a percentage from each country to immigrate each year. Many children were separated from their families for several years. As an example they took the 1910 census of a given country that had immigrated to American and only 2% of that population could remain.
Hal gave us a very detailed tour of the fort and history of the Island.
Thanks again Hal and Karen.
Now Captain Hal's Home
|Inside East Bastion Casemate|
|Interior Staircases East Bastion|
|John Taking Photo of Casemate|
|Immigration and Hospital|
|Captain Hal and Karen|
|Doctor's House Now Karen's Home|
|Map of Fort Scammel|