This Historic Island for Sale in Casco Bay Has a Fascinating Military and Government History
Maine has several private islands for sale along its rocky coastline. Some of the islands are located just off the shores of Portland in Casco Bay. House Island has sat on the market for over a year looking for the right buyer to take on the unique property as their own.
House Island boasts five beaches, several houses with ten total bedrooms and more than eight bathrooms, and a courtyard perfect for playing yard games.
The most unique feature of this property listing, however, is the historic military fort on the far end of the island.
Fort Scammel was built in 1808 and was designed with cannons to protect Portland Harbor's shipping channels. It was renovated and expanded to enclose a larger area in the mid-1800s. It was armed throughout the 1800s until it was listed as disarmed in a 1903 report. Unlike the other Casco Bay forts, Fort Scammel actually fired a shot and was fired upon in battle in 1813.
After it's military career, House Island became what was known as "Ellis Island of the North". The island hosted an immigration quarantine station for 30 years after the Emergency Quota Act limited the number of people who could enter into the country.
The original brick-built barracks used to detain the immigrants have been demolished, but the other buildings remain on the island.
House Island is available for private events and weddings while it's on the market. It is currently listed just shy of $6 million. For the history and storied past, that seems like a bargain.