The view from Bucksport
There is a new cable-stay bridge in Bucksport which spans the Penobscot River, the Penobscot Narrows. The Waldo –Hancock Bridge used for many years (1931) and was a prototype for the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge is still there next to the new one but has been closed to traffic. The two side by side are a great visual for the 20th century adjacent to the 21st. The feature though that draws people to visit the bridge is the observatory at the top of the bridge’s south tower. The state of Maine really deserves kudos for incorporating the observatory into the bridge because it’s a good idea and offers great panoramas. It’s the only bridge with an observatory in the Americas and only one of three in the world (the others are in Slovakia and Thailand). The observatory is 42 stories high above the river and has great views in all directions. On the clear, very warm day that Julie and I visit we can see all the way up to Cadillac Mountain—Bar Harbor in the distance. It seems like you can see all of Bucksport across the river as well as the main attraction here, Fort Knox. Americans have always been adept at bridge building and have created many that are works of art. No exception here; I’ve had the pleasure of driving over the Golden Gate, Brooklyn and now the Penobscot Narrows.
More about Fort Knox: while there is no gold here, this fort and the other Fort Knox where both named for Major General Henry Knox, America’s first Secretary of War and Commander of Artillery during the American Revolution. The fort was built in 1825 to defend the Penobscot after British controlled the river during the Revolution and the War of 1812. The fort is the first and largest granite fort built in Maine and is cool, literally, on this hot day. Julie says that some rooms were naturally air conditioned. During the Spanish American War about 575 troops from Connecticut were stationed here. Plan to spend at least an hour here exploring and definitely bring a flashlight to explore all the areas.