Ghost Ship of Fort Gorges / by Todd Henson

Ghost Ship of Fort Gorges

This week I share a single photograph I created in Portland, Maine, from Fort Allen Park. It was a very foggy day. My father and I had just visited the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum, riding the train along the coastline looking out at Casco Bay. We’d seen Fort Gorges appear and disappear in the fog. We’d seen ships docked in the bay, and ships moving through the fog from one ghostly location to another.

We hadn’t necessarily planned to visit Fort Allen Park, and really just happened by it on our way out of town. But when driving by I saw views of Fort Gorges in the fog and thought it might make a nice image. So we turned around and found a place to park and watch the continuously changing scene, a faint drizzle, like the fog, moving in and out.

The fog around Fort Gorges cleared slightly, making it easier to see its walls, trees and bushes growing along the top, a flag pole at the end of the dock, and the openings in the wall to the right where some of the 34 10-inch Rodman guns would have been mounted, facing out into Casco Bay. Smaller window slits can be seen on the wall to the left of the flag pole, on the back side of the fort, along with the entrance at the center of this wall.

A new heavy bank of fog began rolling in from Casco Bay to the right of Fort Gorges, and with it, almost seeming to pull it along, was a lone sailboat, my Ghost Ship of Fort Gorges. It moved slowly into the scene, pulling the fog with it, this ghostly apparition sailing by the old ghost of a fort, a fort where no battles were fought and no soldiers were stationed, obsolete before it could ever be used. A ghost ship for a ghost fort. Ghost Ship of Fort Gorges.