Fort Christopher Levett was a U.S. Army Coast Artillery installation built on Cushing Island in Casco Bay, Maine between 1900 and 1904. In its heyday it boasted heavy ordinance that protected Portland Harbor. The guns of Fort Levett never fired a shot in anger. By 1948 its military technology was obsolete, its guns were removed, and the fort was decommissioned and left to moulder amid the overgrowth that soon engulfed its brick buildings and concrete gun emplacements. Efforts to recycle the fort in the 1950's and 1960's came to naught.
In 1970 a group of six young families, some from the Portland area, some from "away," were able to acquire the ruined fort based on a dream of restoring the crumbling brick buildings as vacation residences and becoming part of the summer community that had long existed on the "civilian side" of the island.
Over the next 5 years the group restored six residences for themselves, sold other buildings to be recycled by like-minded friends, demolished a massive barracks, and created a shoreside subdivision of six lots for dream houses to be built by the original partners.
The Fort on Cushing Island is the story of their undertaking, their travails, and the eventual success of their undertaking. It will be of interest to readers of history of coastal Maine and those who appreciate the brash enterprise of the young in going forward in the face of "you will never be able to do it."