Fort Phoenix is a Revolutionary War-era fort overlooking Buzzards Bay from Fairhaven. There is also a public park, called the Fort Phoenix State Reservation, which offers scenic views, beachfront, and recreational activities, and remains open year round. Visitors to the fort have the opportunity to get an interactive history lesson from a free living history walking tour, or attending a historical encampment.
The fort was constructed when the town of Fairhaven petitioned to build a fort for protection two British sloops-of-war were captured in Buzzards Bay in the first naval battle of the American Revolution in 1775. This fort was completed on Nolscot Point by 1777, and was armed with 11 cannons, mostly seized from the British in Bermuda.
The year after, the British destroyed the fort, which was then rebuilt and named Fort Phoenix after the bird of Greek mythology to rise from the ashes. Since then, it has served the United States in the War of 1812 and the Union in the American Civil War.
The Fairhaven Visitors Center offers the free historical walking tours. The Minuteman Tour presents the fort that protected the area through 3 wars, and includes a flintlock rifle demonstration. These tours run Thursday afternoons at 2:00 pm from June through September. On Fridays at 2:00 pm from June through September, Goodwife Spooner’s Fort Phoenix Tour teaches visitors about the fort and what life was like during the American Revolution for a woman from Fairhaven village.
For more information on these tours, contact the Fairhaven Visitors Center by phone at (508) 979-4085 or access their website at fairhaventours.blogspot.com.