Saturday, February 4, 2012

Goat Island Light

Picture perfect. a wikipedia photo of Goat Island Light
  Located just outside the harbor of Cape Porpoise, a village in the Town of Kennebunkport, the light was established in 1833.  A fifth order Fresnel Lens was installed in 1859.
  The Light was automated in 1990, the property is now owned by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, it is a very well cared for place.
  During the term of George Herbert Walker Bush the Secret Service often had agents on the island which has a great view of Walkers Point, the summer home of President Bush.
  During a bad storm in 1947 Coast Guard Keeper Joseph Bakken, who lived there with his wife and children, reported that waves washed over the island and destroyed the covered walkway and the boat slip.  In all of the confusion and hurry they forgot about their dog and her new puppies.  After the storm the Keeper went to the flooded basement, floating on the water was a box with the dog and her puppies.  I guess Coast Guard dogs are Semper Paratus (Always Prepared) just like the rest of the United States Coast Guard.
An 1835 photo shows the old tower
an 1859 Coast Guard photo shows the new (present) tower - make sure
you enlarge this photo it's very detailed and clear
The Bell Town reconstructed by The Kennebunkport Conservation Society

Friday, February 3, 2012

Franklin Island Light

"..back in the day", my daughter would say. Wikipedia photo - click
  Franklin Island is a 12 acre spot at the entrance to Muscongus Bay, it's six miles from Friendship, and midway between Pemaquid Point and Port Clyde.  The light can only be seen by boat and the tower, all that remains, is off limits to visitors.
  Congress authorized the Franklin Island Light in 1806 and building was complete in 1807 the wooden tower showed a white light 50 feet above the high water line.  Also completed was the
keepers house, the first keeper stayed there for 23 years.
  The tower was replaced in 1831 with a rubblestone tower that raised the light a bit, it had 10 lamps with 13 inch reflectors.  In 1850 this tower was replaced with a new 45 foot tall tower made of brick, and a new keepers quarters was built at the same time, it was a great improvement.
  This light was automated in 1933 and is still an active aid to navigation, all that remain are the tower and lantern and the oil house.
A Coast Guard photo in the 1870's
A Coast Guard photo taken after automation. Also seen is most of Franklin Island.
An early postcard, on file at the Smithsonian Institution, this photo shows
the light just before automation and tearing down the house.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fort Point Light

Fort Point Light is a pretty picture in this photo - click
  Fort Point Light was established in 1836 to protect vessels on the west side of the Penobscot River; those ships going or coming from the Port of Bangor.  This is the other lighthouse with a square tower that is round inside.
  The Bell Tower is still intact, one of a very few remaining in New England, and it's now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The bell ,which was replaced by a fog horn, hangs outside for people to see.
  Fort Point itself is now a part of the Maine State Park System and the keepers are Terry and Jerilyn Cole (lucky folks).
As it appeared in the 1890"s in this Coast Guard photo shows this Bell Tower photo
The Oil House as shown in Wikipedia
A personal note:  I have returned from 2 nights at Eastern Maine Medical Center, I was treated in that wonderful manner folks have come to expect.  I was admitted for a series of heart test.  I sometimes get lightheaded and my pulse spikes and blood pressure gets high.  All of the tests, as in the past, show I have no heart defects, so the mystery continues.

As always you can browse for more information.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Egg Rock Light (Maine)

On the high point, Egg Rock Light from Wikipedia - click
    The Light was established in November 1875 to accommodate increased traffic at the Port of Bar Harbor.  A short square brick tower built in the middle of the keepers house, the light was a fifth order Fresnel lens showing a steady red.
   Shortly after, in March 1876, a heavy storm washed over the island, all was lost except the house, light and the keeper.  The keeper found his boat but it was badly damaged, the boat was replaced and a new boathouse was built.  This was the first of three storms which completely engulfed the station.
  A new compressed-air fog horn was installed in 1904, partly in response to the USS Massachusetts running aground the year before, the horn blew 348 hours during the month of July 1906 alone; sleep must have been hard to come by.
  The Coast Guard keepers were removed in 1976 and the light was automated with rotating aero beacons.
  This has been considered to be the least attractive Light in Maine.
1946 - the keeper brings back his provisions
An early aerial view, there was no lantern on the tower.
You can find more at

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eagle Island Light

Viewed from the water ( - click
  Eagle Island is on the eastern edge of Penobscot Bay, not to be confused with Eagle Island in Casco Bay (the one with Commodore Perry's home)
  Alright, are you confused yet?  Shipping was increasingly important in the early 1800's, as more and more ships entered the Penobscot River to the Port of Bangor.  Bangor at the time was the lumber capitol of the world, so Congress approved the $5,000.00 light.
  A rubblestone tower, capped with a lantern containing a number of whale oil lamps and reflectors, the steady light shone from 149 feet above high water.  In 1858 a forth order Fresnel lens was added, and a spiral iron staircase with 29 steps replaced the old stone steps.  A few years later major changes were made to the leaky keepers house, new board and batten siding was painted.
  The light was automated in 1959 and the last keeper was assigned to a Coast Guard cutter and eventually went to serve in Vietnam on that cutter.
  In February 1964 a Coast Guard crew from Rockland, over local protests, destroyed to keepers house, and while removing the fog bell dropped it into the ocean.  The bell tower was left standing.  The automated light now gets it's power from solar panels.
A Coast Guard photo from the 1870's
An early from the water photo with the house intact.
A pretty picture from the Maine Office of Tourism.
As always go to for more information on this and other lighthouses.

And, as always please don't forget the "daily clicks":
Use to enter then simply click on each category
and click the button that appears.