The oldest standing wooden fort east of the Mississippi River, Old Fort Western, stands as a National Historic Landmark. Built in 1754 as a trading and protective outpost by the Boston-based Kennebec Proprietors at the head of waters on the Kennebec River in Augusta. The location served as a stopping point and storehouse for supplies en route to and from Fort Halifax – which sits on the river at Waterville.
Though never engaged in active aggression, the fort was well protected by a 4-lb cannon. But it did however serve as a garrison and muster point for the troops of Benedict Arnold on his way to an unsuccessful New Years Eave assault on Quebec, a journey that took Arnold and his men through the rugged and untamed Kennebec Valley. After 1767, the fort became home to a civilian store and then other various uses including a private residence.
Old Fort Western remains today one of the best kept and most interesting examples of period military and civilian American life with an active re-enactment schedule, a working kitchen and forge as well as excellent year-round programming.