MAINE MARITIME MUSEUM Curator of Exhibits Christopher Hall, pictured here, has worked with his team over the past several months to recreate the east tower of Two Lights inside the Bath facility to house that lighthouse’s original second-order Fresnel Lens.

MAINE MARITIME MUSEUM Curator of Exhibits Christopher Hall, pictured here, has worked with his team over the past several months to recreate the east tower of Two Lights inside the Bath facility to house that lighthouse’s original second-order Fresnel Lens.

BATH

After many months of planning and work, the Maine Maritime

Museum is finally prepared to open its latest, permanent installation on Saturday.

“Into the Lantern: A Lighthouse Experience” is a one of a kind exhibit, featuring a full-scale recreation of the east tower of Cape Elizabeth’s Two Lights lighthouse inside the museum. The replica of the top portion of the tower also includes the lighthouse’s original, second-order Fresnel Lens, on permanent loan from the U.S. Coast Guard.

“It was two years in the making,” said Marketing and Communications Manager Katie Spiridakis. “So basically we built an addition onto the museum to house a brand-new gallery space and what we’ve done is replicated the top of the east tower at Two Lights, so it’s an exact replica of the lantern room.”

Visitors will first walk through a replicant lighthouse keepers abode, with various items from different periods of the lighthouse’s existence. Folks can flip through a print of a 19th century keeper’s daily log, see what life back then was like or learn about keepers’ lives with an interactive telephone display.

Moving beyond that, visitors enter the main structure housing the recreated top part of the lighthouse. The Fresnel Lens is housed inside the lighthouse and spins as it was originally intended. On the far wall is an 180-degree display, showing a time-lapse view of Casco Bay as seen from the original east tower. Sounds of waves, gulls and ocean breezes fill the exhibit with life.

Along the walls are a number of interactive displays, where visitors can learn about lenses, shipwrecks and the many Maine lighthouses. Included is a plethora of information about the Two Lights lighthouse that the full-scale model is based on.

“What’s great about this exhibit is that it provides accessibility that may not be available to people with mobility issues,” said Spiridakis. “Plus, it’s just difficult to get up in these lighthouses — not all of them are open to the public.”

The unique exhibit also has another feature: it’s now included in the United States Lighthouse Society’s Passport program, and the Into the Lantern exhibit will have its own unique stamp for passport carriers.

“Basically, every lighthouse in the country has its own stamp and when you visit and you have your passport, you get stamped,” said Spiridakis. “When you think about it, it’s not like they’re putting up new lighthouses every day, so they haven’t added a new stamp in forever, as far as I know.”

In celebration of the exhibit’s grand opening, the museum will have a number of lighthouse-themed activities for children, and lighthouse cruises will be discounted all day.

Attendees will be able to speak to representatives from several Maine lighthouses, as well as representatives of Lighthouse Digest Magazine, American Lighthouse Foundation and the Maine Lighthouse Museum.

Admission to the museum is $6, children 12 and under can get in for free.

“Basically, this is the summer of lighthouses,” said Spiridakis.

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