The blockhouse, rifleman's house, barracks, and surrounding granite walls of Fort McClary were built in stages between the establishment of the fort in 1808 and 1868. Plans for further development of the fort would have made the site very similar to other major forts in Maine like Fort Knox. As weapons became more technologically advanced the structures at Fort McClary became obsolete. The site provided coastal defense for quite some time. Named after Major Andrew McClary, a New Hampshire local, who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. Fort McClary saw the most action, although still minimal, during the War of 1812 and the American Civil War. The fort was officially abandoned in 1918, just before the State of Maine began managing it as a historical site. But the site had more to come. During WWII, civilian forces used the remaining parts of the fort as a defense unit. The Blockhouse is the only standing structure today and was renovated into a museum in 1987.