Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cape Neddick Light (Nubble Light)

Nubble Light - click to enlarge it's nice.
The Cape Neddick Light is the official name of more commonly known Nubble Light.  Located two miles from the mouth of York Harbor in York, Maine.  It is on a small island known as the nubble.
  Constructed at a cost of $15,000.00 in 1876, the tower was originally painted a reddish brown, it was an iron tower lined with brick (the common materials at that time).  It had a fixed red light through a fourth order Fresnel lens.  It still shows a steady red light with an optic lens.
  Travel back and forth the short distance to the mainland is by "the bucket", a small cable car (non-motorized) pulled back and forth on a cable.  A photo is shown below.
  Always remember as my Moms favorite it is indeed a scenic view.  At Christmas time the buildings are trimmed with lights making an especially nice sight.
The Bucket. Want to go for a ride?
A different view of the tower.
At Christmas time (also shown for one week in July)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Portland Head Light..

This is it! Click to enlarge, it's big.     Wikipedia photo
  The first lighthouse built in what is now Maine, and, yes, the first keeper was appointed by President George Washington.  The light is located on Portland Head in the Town of Cape Elizabeth and on the grounds of the former Fort Williams.  This geezer was first sworn in to the United States Navy at Fort Williams - now sadly, only a handful of buildings remain.
  The "original" light was completed in 1790 at a cost of $2,250.00 which must have been a huge sum in those days, and the keeper was paid $160.00 per year and allowed to raise animals and farm the grounds.  The tower has been made taller, or shorter, so many times it would make your head swim, I can't keep it straight; so let's just say it's more than three.  The light is still operating, a white flash every 4 seconds from the Optic Lens - all automated.
  I'm guessing that this particular lighthouse is one of the most visited and photographed in the Country.  I take Hollie about once every year, it's 150+ miles away, it's her absolute favorite.  It could easily become anyones favorite; it's a beauty, the grounds and surrounding Fort Williams Park are excellent, and it's free!  Come on up, or down, and see for yourself.
   Visit  for more history and information.
July 23, 1931 the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) in the background.
September 21, 1938 being "washed" by a hurricane
One of the Fort Williams buildings, there were about 20 of these all kind of alike,
now there are four, well preserved.  The Fort was started in 1810.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Portland Breakwater Light.......

A favorite of mine
....better known as Bug Light, is a small light in Portland Harbor.  It's known for it's unusual architecture in the lighthouse world.
  The first light on this spot was constructed in 1837 because of damage during a huge storm in 1831.  Construction consisted of an 1800 foot breakwater with the light at its end.  The breakwater was not capped and there was no "keepers house" at the light so during winters when the rip rap breakwater was icy the keeper had to crawl out on his hands and knees. Ouch! The first light was made of wood, as were many at the time.
  The present structure was built in 1857 of iron.  The light is modeled after the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Greece.  The light is 24 feet tall from the base to the tip, and 12 feet in circumference.
After the initial building a small house was added for a short period of time, and the breakwater was shortened and capped.
  See for a full history and more photos.
In the 1880's with house.
The sixth-order lens
The first structure.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My personal favorite....

West Quoddy Lighthouse and Visitor Center
...of Maine Lighthouses is the one at the most eastern tip of the continental United States.

In 1806, a group of concerned citizens chose West Quoddy Head as a suitable place for a lighthouse to help mariners coming into the south entrance to Quoddy Roads, between the mainland and Campobello Island. According to some sources, Hopley Yeaton, an officer in the United States Revenue Cutter Service who is regarded as the father of the Coast Guard, played a role in the establishment of the station. Yeaton had retired to a farm in the area and was active in local affairs.

The earliest light was constructed of wood and lasted only a few years.  The second light was made from "rapple" or loose stone, it wasn't water tight at all and the interior would have a coat of ice all winter, the house built at the same time wasn't much better.

For a time during the war of 1812 the British held Eastport and Lubec and had control of the Light and kept it running.  The English had promised to keep the Keeper and pay him, he worked all during that time no payment was forthcoming.

In 1857 the present light was built along with a one-and-one-half story house (now the visitor center), all for the sum of $15,000.00.  It is made of brick, and painted white with horizontal red stripes.  East Quoddy on the other side of that channel is also painted white with a red "cross", or one vertical stripe and one horizontal stripe.  The channel separates Maine and Canada's Campabello Island.
A geography lesson
Inside the tower, a lot of steps
The lens

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Little River Light

A home for the Holidays
  For the first time in 162 years one solitary person spent Christmas in Little River Lighthouse.  As part of a social experiment Bill Kitchen will spend a year alone on the island in Machias Bay.  As a bonus people can pay to spend a night, it would be quite an experience, wouldn't it?
  Mr. Kitchen has all of the modern amenities that weren't available when Keepers and their families lived in lighthouses all over the world.  Bill has a cell phone, Internet access and TV, life will still be a challenge without company though.  But what about back when families lived there, I give one example.
  The Corbett family manned the light in the 1921-1939, a Keepers pay at that time was $68.00 a YEAR, and all the vegetables they could grow and of course fish and lobster.  Mr. and Mrs. Corbett had three children the oldest was Neil.
  Neil would help his dad wind the clockwork that rotated the light and ran the foghorn, the mechanism was wound like you would a non-electric clock (they still make those?).  On July the fog stayed on the Island for 575 hours and the "clock" had to be wound every three to four hours!  That was a busy family!  Neil went on the serve in World War Two, came back to Cutler and earned a living as a lobsterman.  He also formed the Quoddy League, a semi-pro baseball league with about 14 teams.  The League lasted into the 1960's; Neil was elected to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame for his achievement, he died in in 2008.
  So the light has a long history, Mr. Kitchen will spend an interesting year alone and the last time a family spent Christmas on the Island was 38 years ago.
  You can find more at: or
An old photo of the island and light.
Making the place liveable again, a worker from a conservation association.
Neil Corbett

Monday, December 26, 2011

Taking a break.....

....after Christmas is one thing that Santa does not have trouble with.  He has been known for a long, long time to simply lay down and take a nap, or two.   It has been rumored that he even has visited Hawaii after Christmas.  Hawaii would be a good choice warm sand, warm water, some shade and a good hotel should be in order.
  So, let's look in on the old elf and see what he's up to this year.
Norman Rockwell showed us this in 1935!
In Hawaii living it up!
...lest we forget.... get out in those stores, there's some sales today.  Go, go!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

He's here.... a red Corvette!  Way to go, Santa!
  You never know how the Old Elf will arrive, or what will meet him.  Oh, sure, a plate of cookies and a glass of milk are okay, but what about some Vernor's Ginger Ale (don't think that's around any longer), or a Coke at least.
  As he speeds around the world he gets to see a lot of different ways to celebrate.  In the good ole' USA we have different things or ways to light stuff up.
   In the desert Southwest there are Saguaro Cacti to light up, but somehow I think you could get your hands on a Christmas tree, US and Canadian farmers sell 37 million of them a year.
Dairy farms celebrate, this one's in Wisconsin
  Some farmers grow trees, and some produce the milk, actually that's the cows job, but you get the idea.  Decorate the silo but hope Santa aims for the chimney.
A seafaring Christmas.
  Some things used to celebrate, like chocolate, are shipped in from other countries on ships.  Or, this is Maine, eat lobster.  Gotta have them boats for that.

Merry Christmas everyone, no matter how you celebrate it.