This program has already taken place. You can view the video below!
About the Program and Presenters
If you live in Cape Elizabeth, chances are you’ve spent some serious time exploring and enjoying Fort Williams Park. But did you know that in addition to the lighthouse, picnic grove, playground, Children’s Garden and pickleball courts that we associate with the park today, there is a deep and fascinating history to this special spot from its time as a bustling military fort? Join us as we welcome Bob Dodd and Jim Rowe, current and former presidents of the Cape Elizabeth Historic Preservation Society, for this presentation about the heyday of Fort Williams, its rise and fall, and how it transformed from an important military installation into the beloved park we know today. You’ll see rare photos from the Fort’s past and hear stories of those who were stationed there during the first half of the twentieth century. In addition, Bob Dodd will give a behind the scenes look at how he researched and created his stunning scale model version of Fort Williams that is currently on display at the library. You don’t want to miss this special evening — you’ll never see Fort Williams Park the same way again!
About Bob Dodd
Bob Dodd is retired from a career working in the field of non-profit management, communications and fundraising. His last job was as the V.P. of Development and grant writer for Good Shepherd Food Bank, where he worked from 2008-2016. Bob was also editor of The Cape Courier for 6 years from 1998-2004 and served on the Courier board for several years before and after that, fitting this in in between his full-time job telecommuting with a cancer research non-profit based in Washington, DC. He has lived in Cape Elizabeth since 1991 with his wife Carole, and their two children, Emily and Conor, who went through the Cape school system. Bob is the current President of the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society.
About Jim Rowe
Jim Rowe was born and raised in the northeast corner of Cape Elizabeth- not far from the main gate at Fort Williams. Five generations of his family have lived in that area. Jim has had many interesting experiences in many different roles at Fort Williams, ranging from Cub Scout to Chairman of the Portland Head Light Trustees, and many stops along the way. He is a graduate of the University of Maine (Orono). Jim’s entire work career was spent as the fourth generation of his family to own and operate a South Portland-based building material supply business, which was founded 30 years before the first brick was laid in what would become Fort Williams. Jim has served in many organizations and on many committees- most here in Cape Elizabeth. He has served on both the School Board and on the Town Council. In semi-retirement, Jim enjoyed substitute teaching in the Cape school system. Jim and his wife Judy have been married for 42 years, and have two grown sons, Andy and Tom (both CEHS grads), who have families of their own. Jim’s interests are local history, travel, art, music, reading, sports, and spending time at his favorite place on earth- Fort Williams Park. He currently offer free history walking tours there.