Friday, July 19, 2013

Photo Friday ~ Interesting Sign at Odiorne Point

Although I'd been to Odiorne Point many, many times, sometime you miss the obvious.  Right next to the parking area is this strange formation under a hill, and this sign....

Look closely at the hill in front of you.  During World
War II bunkers like this one were constructed to house
large guns and then camouflaged to look like natural hills.
Fort Dearborn located here on Odiorne Point played an active role
in the defense of Portsmouth Harbor and the naval shipyard. 
Following the war, the iside of this one was equipped as a civil 
defense shelter and a rotating radar unit was placed on top.  In
1959, Fort Dearborn was declared surplus property and was
acquired by the State of New Hampshire for use as a state park.

My ancestor David Thomson established the first settlement in New Hampshire here at Odiorne Point.  John Odiorne, another one of my ancestors, acquired several acres here and built a farm.  The Odiornes lived here for generations.  The land was broken up and sold until by the 1930s there were seventeen different families living on Odiorne Point, including an Odiorne descendant.

In 1942 the US government bought all the land and built Fort Dearborn.  Route 1A was closed, and the houses and estates were demolished.  According to the sign above, in 1959 the Fort was closed and the land was sold to the State of New Hampshire as a park.  Today there are historic monuments, a beach, tide pool areas, picnicking, playgrounds and the Seacoast Science Center here at Odiorne Point State Park.  

A previous blog post about the Odiorne family:

Odiorne Point State Park website 

Seacoast Science Center


Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. Wow. So it must be that in many places we were ready to defend our own shores during World War II. Scary to imagine. Another reason to rejoice at the defeat of Hitler.