Our Lady of the Holy Hope sign from Fort Pentagoet, Castine, 1648

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Castine was a contested area of overlapping Wabanaki, English and French claims for centuries. The French first started trading there in 1611, usurped by the Plymouth Colony in 1629 who built Fort Penobscot. The French again took possession in 1635, renaming the Fort “Pentagoet.” Authority fluctuated for the next few decades.

Catholic Capuchin friars established a mission at Pentagoet, installing a sign written in Latin, translated to,
"1648, 8 June, I Friar Leo, of Paris, Capuchin Missionary, laid this foundation in honor of Our Lady of the Holy Hope".

The Capuchin mission at Pentagoet ended around 1654, the year the English captured the French fortified trading post in Castine. This sign was excavated in 1863 during the Civil War while Fort Madison was being rebuilt.

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About This Item

  • Title: Our Lady of the Holy Hope sign from Fort Pentagoet, Castine, 1648
  • Creation Date: 1648
  • Subject Date: 1648
  • Location: Castine, Hancock County, ME
  • Media: Copper
  • Dimensions: 19.7 cm x 24.8 cm
  • Local Code: 1998.1.59.1
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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