Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pond Island Light

Pond Island Light, Sequin Island Light in left rear - click
  Pond Island, all ten acres of it, sit near the mouth of the Kennebec River, soldiers were stationed there in 1812 to stop a British invasion from entering the River.  In about 1819 people began asking for help with navigation on, what was then, a busy river.  In 1821 work started on Pond Island to augment to Light on Sequin Island.
  The tower and dwellings were each built or re-built at least three times.  The Light remains an active aid to navigation, all of the buildings except the Light have been destroyed and the Island is used as a bird refuge by the U S Fish and Wildlife Service.
An early photo
An aerial view is provided in this Coast Guard photo
A more recent photo.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Petit Manan Light

This photo from Wikipedia shows the Light and its surroundings - click
  President James Monroe approved the construction of a lighthouse in 1817. a short tower was built soon after, the present tower was approved in 1851.  Built from granite blocks with a brick lining the light can be seen from quite a distance, while easily viewed from Schoodic Point the distance makes it appear much smaller.
  The name of the island comes from the Micmac word meaning "island out to sea", it was named by Samuel de Champlain (he did that a lot I find). 
  There originally were two houses here, the assistant keepers house has been demolished.  The Light was automated in 1972 with solar power added later.  A lot of the buildings remain on this site.  The island is a bird sanctuary and is managed by the U S Fish and Wildlife Service.
In this Coast Guard photo from the 1870's you can see the remains of the
original tower on the right.
In this photo you can see a Lighthouse Tender on the right.
The rest of the Island.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Perkins Island Light

Perkins Island Light tower wikipedia - click
  In the early 1800's there were lights at the mouth of the Kennebec River but shipping up the river still needed navigational help.  In 1892 there were a total of over 3,100 vessels using the Kennebec, in addition the two steamers that ran from Maine to Boston made 96 round trips, and numerous local passenger steamers on the river with more than 230,000 passengers.  That year Congress voted to approve funding for some of the lights.  The steamship companies had placed lanterns along the river banks but in fog you still couldn't tell where the bank ended and the water began.
  In additional to Lights at Sequin and Pond Island (not the last Pond Island we read) Perkins Island, in Georgetown was selected as a good place for a light.  By 1902 the station was complete with boat slip and fog bell.
An aerial view in this Coast Guard photo.
A more recent view
With the fog bell house too., looks like some blueberry bushes in the fall
in this photo, nice red low to the ground.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Owls Head Light

With a covered walkway, a historical photo. -click
  On a bluff that overlooks the west end of Rockland Harbor sits the "cape of the winds" as it was called by Samuel de Champlain, it's in the Town of Owls Head.  The Light was established by act of Congress in 1825, the tower is not too tall because of the bluff, the Light shine exactly 100 feet above the water.  The present tower was built in 1852 to replace to original. 
  The land around the Light is a Maine State Park, but the buildings are property of the U S Coast Guard, and the dwelling still houses people on active duty at the nearby Coast Guard Station, Rockland.  Rockland is designated a "Coast Guard City".
An aerial view of the present arrangement. USCG
The tower in 1998.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nash Island Light

Nash Island Light remains - click
The Towns of Addison, Columbia Falls and Columbia were all ports for shipping granite, lumber and other Maine products in the 1830's.  In 1837 Congress appropriated money to build a light on one of the site of Nash Island.  There are/were two Nash Islands there, big and little, the Light is on "little".
The first dwelling and tower did not fare well, both were excessively leaky, and in time both were replaced.  The new Light is the one shone above.
  One of the keepers, John Purington or Portland, arrived, in 1916, aboard a tender with his wife and seven children, one of them 3 weeks old; two more sons would be born on the island.  School was on the island for two weeks, then the teacher would go to another island and so on.  The result was two weeks of school and about 6 weeks off.  One of those children was Jenny, she didn't have much education but she was industrious for sure.  Jenny became a farmer and lobster fisherman, she lived on the island until the time she died at age 91.  I wrote about Jennies sheep on my Tehachapi Pete blog a while back.  The light is no longer active, it was sold to a local preservation group, who are activly working on it.  The Island is under the authority of the U S Fish and Wildlife Service.
A Coast Guard photo, 1870's maybe.
The ruins of the keepers house in 2001
Some of Jennies sheep in 2010
June 7, 2011 in this blog, read about the sheep.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Narraguagus (Pond Island) Light

Nice view. ( - click
  In the 1800's Millbridge was an important shipping port, lumber fed down the Narraguagus River, as well as shipbuilding and fishing flourished.  Congress appropriated $4,000.00 in 1851, and the Light opened on March 3, 1953.  The original Light was on top of the keepers house.  That building didn't last too long and the present Light opened in 1875.
  The walk from the boat landing to the lighthouse and dwelling was over a half mile, a boat slip on site of the Light was for emergency use only.
  Pond Island is quite large, over 300 acres, it was farmland when the Light was built, but during the early 1980's The Pond House, a three story vacation destination opened; visitors frequently visited the keeper and his family, when they weren't playing on the island's golf course.  I have heard that the business may still be open in the summer, but I am not sure.
  This is issue number 1,000 of larrysramble, it started in May of 2009.  Most of the "stuff" is still here, take a look through.
The "Original" seen in this Coast Guard photo
A Coast Guard photo from the late 1890's
The location of Pond Island

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mount Desert Rock Light

In all it's glory.  (
  Twenty miles out from the nearest port on Mount Desert Island sit this light.  At one time it was considered the most exposed light in the United States.  The highest elevation at high tide is 17 feet.
Samuel de Champlain named the rock in 1604 and it's far away neighbor Mount Desert Island (those are pronounced as "dessert" like part of a meal).
  Congress appropriated $5,000.00 and on March 2, 1829 work began.  A 44 foot tower and lantern shone a white light 44 feet above the mean high water.  There were one keeper and one assistant.  A new 55 foot tower and lantern were built in 1847, with a fourth-order Fresnel lens the new light had a beacon the rotated and flashed white every 15 seconds.  A second dwelling was built to replace the old one and several out-buildings (oil house, boat house, etc.) were built at that time.
Aerial view. USCG
  The light was automated in the 1970's, the "rock", except for the Light, is the property of The College of the Atlantic, it is used for whale watching studies.  Students and staff have cataloged over 4000 whales while on the "rock".
An early Coast Guard photo show the original house.
The new tower is marked.