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September 12, 2013

Open Lighthouse Day: Time to see the light

Always wanted a closer look at a lighthouse? About two dozen Maine beacons will be open to the public on Saturday.

By Bob Keyes
Staff Writer

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Doubling Point Light

Additional Photos Below


WHEN: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Various lighthouses in Maine



YEAR BUILT: First temporary light built in 1888; permanent light built between 1900 and 1902

HEIGHT: 25 feet

ILLUMINATING FACT: The light was made in New Zealand, and is visible for up to 17 miles.


LOCATION: Two miles offshore from Popham Beach; accessible via Fish 'N' Trip Charters' Seguin Island Ferry or by private boat

YEAR BUILT: 1795; rebuilt in 1819 and again in 1857

HEIGHT: 53 feet

ILLUMINATING FACT: This lighthouse's lens is an extremely rare 1857 First Order Fresnel lens made of 282 individual glass prisms. It's also Maine's tallest lighthouse, and is said to be haunted by a 19th-century keeper who killed his wife with an ax after being driven insane by her constant piano playing on the isolated island. (Some say they can still hear the wife's playing too.)


LOCATION: At the end of a granite breakwater at Fort Preble in South Portland. Turn right off Broadway onto Pickett Street, then left onto Fort Road.


HEIGHT: 54 feet

ILLUMINATING FACT: Keepers used to exercise by running 56 laps around the tower's main deck, which they figured was about a mile.


LOCATION: Quoddy Head State Park, 973 South Lubec Road, Lubec

YEAR BUILT: 1808; rebuilt in 1858

HEIGHT: 49 feet

ILLUMINATING FACT: This lighthouse is located on the easternmost point of land in the contiguous U.S., so it's the first part of the country to see the sunrise every morning.


LOCATION: Entrance to Penobscot Bay, Whitehead Island (offshore)

YEAR BUILT: 1804; rebuilt in 1831 and again in 1852

HEIGHT: 41 feet

ILLUMINATING FACT: Ellis Dolph, the lighthouse's first keeper, illegally sold spermaceti oil used for the light to businesses in Thomaston.


LOCATION: Biddeford Pool (offshore)

YEAR BUILT: 1808; rebuilt in 1835 and again in 1858

HEIGHT: 47 feet

ILLUMINATING FACT: At one time, a French bootlegger sold his hooch on the island to passing fishermen -- until the night a drunken group of sailors burned his building down.


LOCATION: One Park Drive, Rockland. 594-3301;

ILLUMINATING FACT: The museum is home to an impressive collection of lighthouse artifacts and mementos, including a number of rare Fresnel lenses.


THE AMERICAN LIGHTHOUSE FEDERATION and its local chapter, the Friends of the Rockland Harbor Lights, will offer a sunset cruise from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. It will include close-up views of five lighthouses: Owls Head, Rockland Breakwater, Indian Island, Curtis Island and Grindle Point. Tickets cost $45, and proceeds benefit lighthouse preservation.

RESERVATIONS ARE required. Visit or call 594-4174.

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Additional Photos

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Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse

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Burnt Island Light Station

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Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

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Owls Head Lighthouse

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Range Light (front)

Fort Williams Park
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Portland Head Light

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Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

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Monhegan Island Lighthouse

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Marshall Point Lighthouse

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