Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brown's Head Light

It's early spring in this photo by Maine lighthouses and beyond - click
  Located on the northwest tip of the Island of Vinalhaven, and in the Town of Vinalhaven, Brown's Head is now the home of the Town Manager.
  Local fishermen started to lobby for a beacon in 1789, the light was built in 1832 to establish a shipping lane through the Fox Islands Thorofare.  The light has been renovated several times in the intervening years, the original plans included a covered walkway from the keepers house to the tower.
  In 1987 Brown's Head became the last lighthouse is Maine to be automated, the property was given to the Town by the U S Coast Guard, and the light still belongs to the service (for upkeep).
  The first occupant under the new agreement was Sue Lessard, she loved the view and the uniqueness of the arrangement but had trouble adjusting to the fog horn.
   "I thought I was being attacked by God knows what," she told the Portland Press-Herald. For one three-week stretch in July 1996, the fog horn sounded nonstop. Lessard later said she barely noticed the sound after a while.  Sue Lessard left the island in 2001 to become Town Manager of Hampden, Maine, from which she just retired.
1950. US Coast Guard photo.
An early post card maybe c.1930
The late 1800's, photo from USCG archives.
As always for more information Http:// the best source on the net.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Boon Island Light

This Wikipedia photo shows the solar panels and the entire Island-click
  The shoals that surround the area of Boon Island are plentiful and about four miles long.  Shipwrecks happened on a regular basis in colonial times.  Day posts where built the first of tree length wood, and then a second one of iron posts, but what was really needed was a lighted beacon.
  In June of 1811 the first Boon Island Light was opened, it showed at fixed light at 32 feet above the water, the Island is 14 feet above the water at high tide, a storm in 1829 completely swamped the tower and a small quarters built in the interval.
  A second light was built in 1831, it was built of rubble stone and an iron lantern.  This light stood 49 feet tall for a mean height of 69 feet above the water.  Quarters were built as well.
  The present Light was built of granite block in 1854, it stands 133 feet tall, 25 feet in diameter at the base and 12 feet in diameter at the top.  It is the tallest Light in New England.  A stone and brick keepers quarters were added in 1890.
  The great blizzard of 1978 flooded the quarters to a level 0f 5 feet and boulders where thrown around like pebbles, the Coast Guard keepers took refuge in the tower (there are 168 steps) to save their lives.
Shortly after the blizzard a second-order Fresnel lens was installed; the light was automated in 1993 and the lens was placed in a museum.
The present day Light
A nice view from Comcast

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blue Hill Bay Light

An early photo, collection of Edw. Rowe Snow courtesy of Dorothy Bicknell
  In the early 1800's the Town of Ellsworth at the head of Blue Hill Bay and on the Union River was a busy port for shipping lumber.  Navigators needed a beacon to help them make through coastal waters and into the bay.  The land was acquired in the 1850's at a cost of $150.00, and construction of the Light followed, and it was outfitted with a fifth-order Fresnel Lens.
  The Light was discontinued in 1933, replaced with a skeleton tower and an automated (at the time) white light.  The property has been in private hands since 1976.
On of a very few available recent photos
A US Coast Guard photo from 1972

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bear Island Light

Nice photo by Greg Hartford of Bear Island
    This Light is located on an eleven acre island that is another of the five islands that make up the Town of Cranberry Isles.  Bear Island is the furthest out to sea, and has the first light in the entire area.
  Built in 1838-39 and rebuilt a couple of time after due to storm damage, the light was dis-established in the 1980's and replace by a lighted buoy.  The Light and quarters are now a private home.
This photo was taken in 1859 (US Coast Guard photo)
This photo from 1880 gives us a look at the rock beneath the soil.
US Coast Guard archives.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baker Island Light

Through the trees, a National Park Service photo of Baker Island Light - click
  Baker Island is located on one of the five island that make up the Town of Cranberry Isles.  The Town is located just south of Mount Desert Island (where Acadia National Park is). 
  The light was funded in 1823 and construction began the following year, the builder ran out of money and Congress had to be petitioned for more funding, which was received the following year.
  The Light opened in 1825, the 26 foot tall tower was topped with an octagonal shaped iron lantern, the Light was lit with 10 whale oil lamps each had a 15 inch reflector, the keeper was busy refilling the lamps.  William Gilley and his wife Hannah were the first, they already lived on the Island with a number of cows, a yoke of oxen, 50 sheep and a flock of chickens - it seems there was plenty of work to do.
  The Light was dis-established in October 1955, and re-established in 1957 after local fishermen and sailors complained, and was made an automated light with an optic lens.  The building was bought by local people to keep the building intact.  The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company takes members of the public to tour the Island and the Light, see for info.
A photo from the early 1900's
One of the Island's beaches.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Doubling Point Light

At sunset Doubling Point couldn't look better - click
   At a sharp double bend in the Kennebec River, Doubling Point is situated in Arrowsic Maine; a companion light to Squirrel Point Light.
   The Light has been located here since 1899, when the wooden structures were made, a boat house was added in 1901 and a Fresnel Lens was installed to replace the oil lanterns in 1905.
   The quarters are now in private hands, and the light along with Squirrel Point Light and the Range Lights are looked after by contractors.
The keepers house
Shown on an old postcard
Looking down river towards the Bath Bridge