Cape Elizabeth Essential Info

Overview

Cape Elizabeth is a upscale community about 5 miles southeast of Portland, Maine on the Southern Maine coast. Its centerpiece is the 90 acre Fort Williams bought by the town in 1964. It used to guard Portland Harbor and now features the tourist attractions of Portland Head Light and the stone Goddard Mansion as well as the usual park activities and events.

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Fun Facts

  1. Cape Elizabeth is home to one of the oldest continually operating pre-schools in the greater Portland area, Ledgemere Country Day School. The school first opened its doors in 1935 and has been operating in the same location ever since, though under a number of different owners.
  2. Cape Elizabeth is the location of the Beach to Beacon 10K road race that starts at Crescent Beach State Park (the "beach") and ends at Portland Head Light (the "beacon").
  3. John Ford, a film director whose career spanned more than 50 years and directed more than 140 films, who was widely regarded as one of the most important and influential film-makers of his generation, was born in Cape Elizabeth.
  4. Cape Elizabeth is the home of three coastal parks; Fort Williams Park, Two Lights State Park, and Crescent Beach State Park.
  5. In 1872, construction of an artillery base began around Portland Head Light, which in 1899 would be named Fort Williams, after Major General Seth Williams of the Civil War. The fort was active until 1962, after which,it was purchased by the town for about $200,000.

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