A paved walkway surrounding Fort Sewall City Park with benches placed to view the Marblehead Harbor and Salem Sound. Amazing ocean views can be seen. The forts armed earthen and masonry battery is at the end of Front Street in Marblehead, MA.
Fort Sewall’s elevated rocky position overlooks the entrance to Marblehead Harbor, to defend the town and harbor. Fort bunkers underground rooms, and a four room bombproof headquarters, were used to confine prisoners. The underground rooms and the 1794 magazine and 1799 magazines are closed to the public. Cannons and gun emplacements no longer remain.
Fort Sewall City Park is open to the public from dawn to dusk daily. Formerly called Gale’s Head later it was renamed Fort Sewall. The park is comprised of the fort parade ground and ‘bombproof’ magazines. There are restroom facilities but limited street parking. Fort Sewall’s ownership and care were gifted to the Town of Marblehead in 1922.
Marblehead is a coastal town with a population of 19,808. At the eastern end is routes 114 and route 129. Joseph Doliber first settled the town in 1629. The Naumkeag Indian tribe originally inhabited the area. They were devastated by epidemics 1615-1633, thought to be smallpox. Settlers initially thought its granite ledges were marble giving it the name Marblehead.
In its beginning Marblehead was a fishing village with a strong aroma of drying fish exported to various locales. Marblehead sailors became a part of the Revolutionary War and are recognized as forerunners of the United States Navy.
Marblehead Harbor is 17 miles northeast of Boston. The harbor has 14 miles of tidal coastline and 2,000 moorings. It is home to a fishing community and assortment of yachts. The harbor has a distinguished military history.
The harbor was homeport of the schooner Hannah, the first armed vessel of the Continental Navy in 1775. The vessel was outfitted with cannons, rope and provisions including the original ‘Joe Frogger’ cookie. The ‘Joe Frogger’ ginger cookie dates back to Colonial days. It kept for long periods of time so fishermen would take barrels of them on journeys. In addition to ginger they contained nutmeg, cloves, allspice, molasses and rum.
Marblehead opened the United States Naval Training Station for Aviation in 1917. It was the first air station in the state, training units for the entire region. Lynn Woods Reservation is a 2,200 municipal forest park in Lynn MA providing recreational facilities. The natural watershed is one—fifth of the towns land area is 8 miles west of Marblehead.
Fort Sewall is a 7 hour drive of 409 miles from Rochester NY. Drive east from Rochester on I-90 into Massachusetts to Boston. Drive route 1A north then route 129 to Marblehead. Follow signs to the end of Front Street to Fort Sewall City Park.
Here is one visitor’s impression of their visit to Fort Sewall City Park.
“The Fort offers a magnificent view which you must see!”