Saturday, January 14, 2012

Avery Rock Light

Shown on this old postcard
  Avery Rock is a one-quarter acre island at the southern end of Machais Bay, and the Light no longer is with us.
  Built in 1874 after being authorized by President Grant the Light consisted of a building (quarters) that was 12 by 12 feed with the tower built on the roof, a 1200 pound fog bell was located in a separate wooden tower.  The house was built of brick and the tower was built of wood.
  Boat sheds and runways for boats were built over the years and most of them were destroyed by storms.  There was no soil on the rock and keeper were using raised beds with loam brought from nearby islands to grow flowers and vegetables.  The keepers wives would can food for the winter, but there was no room for animals or hens.
Avery Rock in this photo taken in 1892
This 1926 photo shows storm damage to the bell tower
Another postcard shows the boat house and runway

Friday, January 13, 2012

Curtis Island Light

Curtis Island Light - click to enlarge please
  Curtis Island is situated between the two points of land that contain Camden Harbor.  The Island was formerly known, in colonial times, as Negro Island - the U S Civil War fixed that.
   In 1834 Congress appropriated $4500.00 to build the light, the island was purchased by the U S Government for $400.00 and the light was constructed of "rubble stone" tower and the lantern was made up of 8 oil lamps with fourteen inch reflectors.
  The light and the keepers house have been improved greatly over the years, the Town of Camden now owns the land and light, the Coast Guard continues to service the optic lens.
The arctic exploration schooner Bowdoin passes the light in the 1920's.
The Bowdoin carried Admiral Perry to the North Pole, it is still
in use by the Maine Maritime Academy.
A view of Curtis Island from Mount Battie in the Camden Hills State Park
Camden Harbor and the Town of Camden viewed from Mount Battie.
Another look.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ram Island Ledge Light

At high tide, in full function
  Some lighthouses are known for beauty, some are welcomed for their function, Ram Island Ledge is one of the latter.  One mile offshore of Portland Head Light are a score of ledges of which Ram Island is the largest.
  In 1855 people erected a 50 foot high tripod of wood which was okay in good weather, but mariners were unable to see it at night or in bad weather.  After the transoceanic liner California ran aground with 400 passengers Congress finally decided to fund a lighthouse.
  The tower is granite from Rockland, Maine and it is lined with brick with enameled white.  There is a cistern for fresh water near the base of the tower, and the living/work area is about halfway up.  If you look at the photo above the door is at the top of the ladder.  Because men could only work and the construction at high tide it took a little longer to build.
  It's out there now blinking white every ten seconds, and sounding a fog horn.  Now privately owned it is maintained (the actual light) by the United State Coast Guard.
In 1903 the building started, heavy stuff.
Climbing the ladder to the door.
A Coast Guardsman services the optic light.
A view from the top, lots of ledge out there, ayuh!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A short story....

...the "blogster" or the software that allows us to load photos is having a tantrum; as a result I'll be back to lighthouses tomorrow, hopefully.
  In the meantime in order to stay caught up, I am now sleeping, most days, until 3AM; this is a huge difference for me, last year it was 11:30 or midnight and I was going to bed at 5:30PM and now it's 7.  Makes me a happy camper.
  Other things don't seem to change too much, I still walk every day the weather permits; indoors on cold days like today (15 degrees), but still I like to be outdoors.  Peggy and Hollie trips or day haven't changed, they've had birthdays; Peggy is 64 and Hollie is now 27, but they still are the same, such as it is for them.
  I turned 71 a couple of months ago, so now I am getting an even better understanding of "geezerhood", and it's not all bad, we get some breaks.
  Well......come back tomorrow and hopefully I'll be back on subject.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saddleback Ledge Light

Saddleback Ledge Light - click to enlarge
Saddleback pokes its way up though the water quite precipitously for 25 to 30 feet -- a rock shaped something like its name and just large enough for the station it supports. Against it the sea rages on all sides   C. L. Knight, Maine writer and former Lighthouse Keeper.

  In 1836 a Circus Ship ran aground and sank with all of the people and animals killed.  Saddleback Ledge had claimed another ship.  Congress approved a sum of $15,000.00 (a large sum at the time) to construct a light on that ledge.

  Work proceeded to build a granite block light and outfit it with a fourth-order Fresnel lens, a keepers house was constructed at the time, but it has since been destroyed.  The light was automated and the optic lens flashes white every 6 seconds and the fog horn blows every ten seconds at all times.

  This light is located four miles from the Island of Vinalhaven and is fairly well out to sea, rent a boat or plane to see this light.
The whole shebang
When Keepers lived here this was the "railway" for the boat.
Back in the day, keepers quarters, boathouse and it looks like high tide.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Squirrel Point Light

The Squirrel Point Light - click to enlarge
  Squirrel Point is on the Kennebec River, in Arrowsic, near Merrymeeting Bay.  The light was erected in 1898 when what is now Bath Iron Works (builds the best destroyers any Navy ever had) started business, the light here and nearby Doubling Point Light are aid to navigation for that busy bay.
  Squirrel Point is named for the British ship Squirrel which ran aground on this spot in 1717.  The Squirrel was carrying the royal governor to sign a treaty with the Native American peoples who populated Merrymeeting Bay.
  The lantern here is completely red; remember red-right-returning, and marks the ledge you can see that extends out into the river.  The light was automated in the 1980 and the lens replaced with an optic lens.  The property is being renovated by an association.
A look up the river
..and a look down the river.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Heron Neck Light

Shown in this painting by J W Harris - click to enlarge
  Heron Neck is on Green Island the guards the entrance of Hurricane Sound on the larger island of Vinalhaven.  It has a lot of history but few photos, if you want to see it with your eyes you must charter a boat of plane to take you, even though it's not far offshore.
  The light was constructed in the 1850's to protect the large lobstering and fishing fleet of Vinalhaven, which is still fairly large today.  It is connected to the keepers house and both are made of brick.  The light is now automated and the structures are property of the Island Institute.
  This station was famous for a time in the early 1900's for its "fog dog".  A dog named Nemo had been trained by the keeper to bark loudly when he heard a vessels fog horn, after Nemo died he was replaced with another dog, Rover, who performed the same duties.
A photo from the late 1800's
The other side, lot's of rock out here.