They are far from the mainland and hard to get to but two historic Maine lighthouses have attracted attention from several prospective stewards.

Nine entities met the July 16 filing deadline, according to Patrick J. Sclafani, spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration in Boston. That was the date that an interested party had to submit a letter of interest.

Each organization or individual will now be given an opportunity to visit Halfway Rock Light Station or Boon Island Light Station before deciding whether to submit a formal proposal that would lay out their plans for preserving the lighthouses and making them accessible to the public.

If an applicant is approved by the federal government, the lighthouse will be transferred to them at no cost.

Sclafani said six parties have expressed interest in touring Halfway Rock Light, which is located about 10 miles east of Portland Head Light, off the coast of Harpswell. Halfway Rock began operating in 1871. It is a 76-foot-tall granite tapered tower located on a two-acre rock ledge.

Three groups have shown an interest in Boon Island Light, which is six miles off the coast of York. At 123 feet, it is the tallest lighthouse on the Maine coast. It began operating in 1812.

Sclafani said it is the GSA’s policy not to identify the interested parties until they have filed an application.

At this stage of the process, the parties don’t want publicity while others may withdraw their interest following a site visit, Sclafani said. Those site visits are planned for this Fall though no specific dates have been chosen yet.

After the inspections have been completed, the applicants will have 90 days to submit their proposals to the National Park Service. Architectural historians will review the proposals before they make a recommendation to the Department of the Interior.

The selection of a suitable operator could take as long as a year. If the Secretary of the Interior can not find an individual or organization to transfer the property to, the lighthouses will be sold at public auction.