In Prospect, Maine, not far from the Penobscot Narrows, American soldiers constructed a heavily fortified military base to defend the highly-contested waterway from British invasion. And Canadian invasion. And Southern invasion.
Except, it never happened.
Despite decades under construction and numerous threats from enemies both internally and abroad, Fort Knox was never finished until it was damn near obsolete – construction began during the Revolutionary War and didn’t finish until the lights were beginning to dim on the nineteenth century.
While it had batteries capable of hosting nearly two hundred cannons and a host of howitzers, it only received seventy-two at its heyday. The sleeping quarters for soldiers remained unfinished, requiring those same men to request additional funds to build a temporary wooden structure, where they stayed, for the duration of their deployment during the Civil War.
Regardless of its inability to live up to its designed function, it remains a stalwart example of Maine’s strategic importance, American craftsmanship, and the undying American desire to over-prepare for military conflict.