History Of Fort Knox

Major General Henry Knox is the person that the name of Fort Knox was attribured. The building of Fort Knox took place in Maine in 1844.

Have you ever wondered where Fort Knox got its name or who it was named after? Fort Knox was named after Major General Henry Knox. He was known for his involvement in the American Revolution. He was the Secretary of War and Commander of Artillery. In July of 1844, the building of Fort Knox took place in Maine. There is also another Fort Knox in Kentucky.

Fort Knox was built to avoid a British invasion that was expected during the mid-19th century. But this invasion never came. British naval forces controlled the lower stretch of the Penobscot River. Fierce and deadly conflicts arose between Castine and Bangor, Maine. The border between New Brunswick and Maine caused a heated dispute between the United States and Great Britain. The Penobscot River was unprotected, which would, in turn, make it easy for British ships to sail on this river. This river would take the British ships to Bengor. Bengor was the lumber capital that was wealthy and unprotected. Fort Knox was built in order to protect not only this attack, but also future attacks.

There were periods of military activity at Fort Knox. During the Civil War from 1863 to 1866, troops were stationed at Fort Knox. With the onset of the Spanish-American War, almost 500 Connecticut troops were stationed at Fort Knox. Luckily, the towns near the Penobscot River were not threatened during either one of these wars.



It was decided that the Fort Knox in Maine would be built of granite. Granite is a very hard natural igneous rock formation of visibly crystalline texture formed essentially of quartz and orthoclase or microcline and used for building and for monuments. Have you ever studied the Rodman cannon? This was as feature given to Fort Knox in Maine. To load this cannon took up to seven people to load and fire. One shell used for this type of cannon weighed about 315 pounds. Incredibly enough it could fire over 2 miles or equivalent to 4,680 yards.

There are two levels to the fort. The measurements of the main fort are 252 by 146 feet. Sixty-four cannons can be mounted on two levels. One important reason for the granite forts could provide stronger defense than the wooden blockhouses. Fort Knox at Maine became a model for other forts such as Fort Popham, Fort Gorges, Fort Preble and Fort Scammell. In an 1870 military report, it was stated that there were officers' quarters, blacksmith shop, large barn, an unfinished kitchen building, men's' quarters, carpenter shop, and implement houses.

Believe it or not, the cost to build fort Knox was close to a million dollars. Construction was ongoing for 25 years. In 1869, work finally stopped. At this point in time, Fort Knox was not completely finished.

Fort Knox, Kentucky, is the United States depository. Present gold holdings have been 147.3 million ounces. Small quantities of gold have been removed for the purpose of testing the purity. The gold has a book value of $42.22 per ounce. In January of 1937, the first gold was moved to the depository. As of December 31, 1941, 649.6 million ounces has been the highest gold holdings for this century.

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