Saturday, February 18, 2012

Moose Peak Light

Moose Peak Light  (Maine today media) - click
  Out in Moosabec Reach offshore of Jonesport and Beals Island we find Mistake Island.  In 1825 Congress and President John Quincy Adams appropriated money to build a lighthouse.  A 24 foot tall rubblestone tower was built along with a dwelling, the tower was topped with a wrought iron lantern with a copper dome.  The house was a distance away from the Light, they were connected with a walkway across a chasm between the two.  During a storm in February 1842 a huge wave overswept the island and knocked the lantern off level, that stopped the apparatus for the light from working.
  In 1851 the house was completely rebuilt and a new tower was constructed as well.  The Light was automated in 1972, and in 1982 a military team blew up the house as a training exercise.  The island itself, except for the light, is property of The Nature Conservancy.  Solar power was added in 1992.
A Coast Guard photo from the 1870's.  That's a lot of bare rock.
An aerial view provided by the Coast Guard.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Monhegan Island Light and Manana Island Fog Station

Monhegan Island Light (wikipedia) - click
  Monhegan Island is 10 miles off shore and Manana Island is nearby.  The Island has become a summer haven for artists and "people from away" (that's Maine talk).  Both islands were visited by Champlain, and John Smith and others, Manana Island has rock carvings said to have been done by Vikings around 1000AD.   Other traces of Vikings have been found in Maine, a Rune Stone was found in the Popham area some years ago.
  The Light was erected in 1822 and rebuilt in 1850.  In 1855 the fog bell was installed on Manana Island, various bells and whistles were tried finally, in 1877, a first-class Daboll Trumpet was installed, very loud.  The keeper on Monhegan could push a button for the assistant keeper, on Manana, to start the trumpet.  Both are now fully automated.  The property was given to the Historical Society of Monhegan, the Light and Fog Station remain under to care of the United State Coast Guard, they are Semper Paratus.
The Manana Fog Station - USCG photo
Monhegan Island Light, early photo USCG
A recent look.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Matinicus Rock Light

The present Light
  Matinicus Rock, the operative word is rock, is located 18 miles off the mainland, about 25 miles from Rockland.  The rock is windswept and belies it's 32 acre size.  It was recorded in the notes of Captain John Smith in 1614 as "the rock of Mattinack".
  Congress authorized two lighthouses to be built in 1827, and it was designated the "primary light station".  The first station was a stone building with a wooden tower on each end, it was just about destroyed by a huge storm in 1839 and had to be torn down.
  The present station was finished in 1846, consisting of the house in the top photo, and two lighthouses farther apart than the station it replaced.  One of the lights has been discontinued, the remaining tower and lantern are automated and show a flashing white light every 10 seconds and the fog signal give a blast every 15 seconds.
  The "rock" is now a bird sanctuary and visitors are prohibited, it is under the operation of the U S Fish and Wildlife Service.
In full operation (Maine History Museum)
A Coast Guard photo of the present station.
Showing the solar panel and existing buildings.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lubec Channel Light

Lubec Channel Light
  Located in the narrow channel between Lubec, Maine and Campobello Island, New Brunswick the Light was first approved in 1886.  Lubec, the northeasternmost town in the United States was an important port at that time; later there were 20 sardine packing plants in Lubec.  The sardine plants are gone now and Lubec is a quiet but lovely place.
  The Light is a "standard" sparkplug type, the caisson is sunk through thick blue clay into ledge to a depth of 69 feet, on top are the tower and lantern.  The height of the Light and the depth of the steel allow for the tides which raise 17 to 20 feet on average.  The Coast Guard wanted to discontinue the Light in 1984, but locals raised $700,000.00 to keep it.  The Light received a great makeover in 2000 and it is now restored to "almost new".
  The last time we visited Lubec a group of seals were chasing a school of herring while the tide was changing, it was great entertainment.
On a foggy day
A Coast Guard from from c1900
As always more information can be found or many other sources.
This is "issue 995" of this blog, counting down to 1000.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Little River Light

Little River Light photo from
  Little River Light sits on an island at the head of Cutler Harbor.  Cutler is a town on the "Bold Coast" of Maine with about 500 residents, fishermen.
  The present Light was built in 1876, but the keepers house was built in 1888 to replace an earlier one, there has been a Light on that spot since 1855, the older replaced by the newer.
  Cutler is located in what we Mainers call Downeast, it's a beautiful part of the State of Maine, some even say "the real Maine starts east of Ellsworth".
  For more information, on this or any, of the lights find it at
A Coast Guard photo from 1876 shows the Light with the old keepers house
Part of Cutler Harbor
An aerial photo from the Bangor Daily News shows the location.
Cutler can be seen near the top on the right.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Libby Island Light

Libby Island
  Located at the entrance of Machias Bay, Libby Island is the place where the First Naval Battle of the American Revolution took place.  The land has been farmed since 1760.
  A wooden lighthouse was built around 1817, and the Federal Government built the present Light beginning in 1822.  It was re-built to repair the sloppy work after just a few months.  Sea water does not make good mortar, the tower fell in pieces.
  The original lenses were replaced with a fourth-order Fresnel lens in 1855, and a new lantern and lens was installed in 1876.  In 1876 a bell tower was also added.  The station was automated in 1974, and the property turned over the the U S Fish and Wildlife Service, important studies of sea birds are done on the island.  All of the buildings except the tower and lantern and the fog horn/bell house have been destroyed.  In the summer of 2000 the Coast Guard rework the tower and installed solar panels to power the light.
A photo from the 1800's USCG
A Coast Guard photo from the air, a recent photo you can see the solar panels
to the right of the tower.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Isle Au Haut Light

Ain't it pretty?  Photo by - click
  Isle Haute as he called it, was named by Samuel de Champlain.  It mean "high island" and it is, the elevation rises to 556 feet.  There are about 50 year-round residents, most without electricity, on the island; it was the last place to use hand-cranked telephones.
Seen from the water in this Coast Guard photo.
  Isle Au Haut is at the eastern edge of Penobscot Bay, near Mount Desert Island (where Acadia NP is)  The Light was established in 1906 in an area named Robinson Point.  The Light is a brick tower on a granite base.  This light is patterned on Marshall Point Light, with both tower in the water and reached by a "long" walkway.  Both are good to look at.  The Light was automated in 1934, and the property, exclusive of the tower, is in private hands.  Most recently the keepers house has been a Bed and Breakfast.  Let's look out one of the windows:
What a view!