BUILT IN 1871, Halfway Rock Light Station, located halfway between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Small, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will continue to serve as an active navigational aid maintained by the Coast Guard.

BUILT IN 1871, Halfway Rock Light Station, located halfway between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Small, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will continue to serve as an active navigational aid maintained by the Coast Guard.

HARPSWELL

Halfway Rock light station is worth $283,000 — at least it is to the undisclosed bidder who placed that winning bid last Friday for the government auctioned lighthouse off the coast of Harpswell.

The General Services Administration lighthouse auction closed at 4:07 a.m. Saturday, 24 hours after Bidder 2 — one of six bidders angling for the light station — upped Bidder 6’s final offer by $1,000.

Built in 1871, Halfway Rock Light Station, located halfway between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Small, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will continue to serve as an active navigational aid maintained by the Coast Guard. The lighthouse is a 78-foot tall granite tower which formerly contained the keeper’s quarters.

Halfway Rock and Boon Island light station, off the coast of York, were put up for auction by the GSA, an agency which manages government buildings and leases and sells commercial property, on May 14.

More than a dozen bidders joined the auction this summer for Boon Island Light Station, located on an islet off the coast of Cape Neddick. Boon Island went to Art Girard, of Portland, with a winning bid of $78,000 in mid-August.

As of Aug. 21, there were four active bidders vying for Halfway Rock, driving the starting bid of $15,000 placed by Bidder 1 on May 29 up to $58,000. Two more bidders, joined the fray on Aug. 25, driving the price up from $59,000 to $183,000 in the course of a day.

Bids continued to come in at $1,000 increments from bidders 2 and 6 while other bidders withdrew near or before the $200,000 mark.

“The high bid is being considered for acceptance by the government,” said Patrick Sclafani, the GSA regional public affairs officer for New England. “The government reserves the right to reject any or all bids for any reason.”

The name of the winning bidder is withheld until the sale is officially closed, said Sclafani, which can take anywhere between seven and 30 days. At that time, the name is announced with the winner’s permission.

The Coast Guard maintains navigation aids at or near many light stations, but advancements in navigation technology has decreased the Coast Guard’s need for the light stations themselves, said Sclafani.

Light stations reported by the Coast Guard as excess are made available for stewardship to federal, state, local and nonprofit organizations. If no viable offers are made, the property is then authorized for public purchase through the GSA.

Some rules

The purchaser of a lighthouse sold through public auction is required to adhere to historic preservation guidelines and allow the Coast Guard access to any active navigation aids, according to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

Halfway Rock represents a historic high bid for a Maine lighthouse, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Light station sales have ranged from as little as $10,000, up to $933,888 for Graves Light in Boston Harbor, which sold last year.


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