Battery Bohlen is an abandoned reinforced concrete coastal gun battery on Fort Foster in Kittery, Maine. The battery was built in 1901 during the Endicott Period.
Battery Bohlen Establishment
During the 1890s, the US Government analyzed its defensibility. It realized that old masonry forts and smoothbore cannons were rendered obsolete by improvements in weapons made during the Civil War. The Endicott Board was established by the US government in 1885 to conceive a contemporary defense system for the nation. The building of the Endicott system occurred from 1890 to 1910. Alth Some of the Endicott system’s components were still in service in 1945 after it was built between 1890 and 1910. These years are nowadays referred to as the Endicott Period.
During the Endicott Period, the government noticed that the Harbor Defenses of Portsmouth needed improvement. Portsmouth was an important harbor to protect due to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the entrance to the Piscataqua River. One of the defense systems built was Battery Bohlen.
Construction on Battery Bohlen began in 1898 and was finished in 1901. It was transferred for use to the Coast Artillery on December 16, 1901. This was a large coastal gun battery and it was equipped with three 10-inch M1895 guns mounted on M1896 Disappearing carriages. Powder and shells were stored on the first floor of the battery in the magazine. On the second floor, the guns were mounted. In order to bring shells up to the guns, two Hodges electric shell hoists were installed. These were removed after the Taylor-Raymond shell hoists arrived and were installed on February 11, 1922.
Disarmed during World War 1
After the United States entered World War 1, they began looking for ways to strengthen their allies overseas in Europe. To do this, many coastal gun batteries were stripped of their guns so they could be sent overseas. On August 17, 1917, an order came for the guns of Battery Bohlen to be removed and sent overseas. They were officially transferred to France on October 2, 1917. When the war ended, the guns returned and were remote. This remounting occurred on October 30, 1919.
The battery was eventually disarmed again during World War 2 and following this act, the battery was abandoned. The guns and carriages were ordered to be removed on December 15, 1942.
The Battery Today
Since 1942, this coastal gun battery has been completely abandoned. Over the years, the battery and its surrounding land have become a public park named Fort Foster Park. Visitors are welcome to admire the old Battery Bohlen along with Battery Chapin, Battery 205, and the Fort Foster Fire Control Tower.
No guns or mounts remain at Battery Bohlen. The first floor of the battery which is home to the magazine was buried and is completely inaccessible. It is still a fun structure to explore considering visitors can walk all around the old gun pits and the roof.
- Year Established: 1901
- Year Abandoned: 1942
- Original Function: Endicott Period 10‑inch coastal gun battery on Fort Foster
Battery Bohlen Location
- Park: Fort Foster Park
- Address: Pocahontas Road
- Town: Kittery
- State: Maine
- GPS: Lat 43.067427 Lng-70.6920557
- Parking notes: There is a large parking lot at Fort Foster Park which charges $20 to park in the summer. The Fort Foster Park gate is closed to vehicular traffic in the offseason and it reopens each year in the Spring. Battery Bohlen can be accessed via a short walk down to the shore from the parking lot.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE