CREDITS: I would like to thank Jeremy D'Entremont for providing much of the history one can find on this site. He is a speaker, author, historian, and tour guide who is widely recognized as the foremost authority on the lighthouses of New England. For a story on Jeremy or to visit his site (New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide), use the corresponding link in the right hand information bar under "Related Links".

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I have set up this site as a means to share my photographs of lighthouses. Since retiring and finding more time to study photography, my interests have expanded a little. For some of my work other than lighthouses please enjoy my Facebook page at, John Shaw Photography. Come visit, enjoy, and 'LIKE' if you wish.

Also, for your enjoyment, I have provided a slideshow of our journey. To view it please use the link on the right under 'Site Navigation Tools'.

I sincerely hope you enjoy my efforts and use my site not only for information and education but also to provide directions for many enjoyable, inspirational visits to the beacons along our beautiful coas.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five Lighthouse Cruise From Rye, New Hampshire

     On September 21st, 2013 my wife, Sandy, and I had the great pleasure of participating in the annual “Five Lighthouse Cruise” out of Rye, New Hampshire.  It was sponsored by the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses and was narrated by Jeremy D’Entremont, the foremost expert on the lighthouses of New England.  (Click here for a Story on Jeremy)  While the day continually changed from very overcast to partial sun, to thick fog, and back to overcast it was a delightful trip.  Mr. D’Entremont always makes any excursion very informative and extremely enjoyable.  And, since the early lighthouse keepers saw every possible weather condition imaginable, it is only fair that I photograph lighthouses in whatever conditions I find at the time of our visit. 

Jeremy D'Entremont (In His Element)
     Below please find a photo of each of the five lighthouses in the order we visited them.  To enlarge a photo simply click on it.   I sincerely hope you enjoy my efforts as much as I enjoy creating them.  Thank you for visiting my site.  Come again soon.  

White Island Lighthouse (Isles of Shoals)

Boon Island Lighthouse

Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse

Whaleback Lighthouse

Portsmouth Lighthouse

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Grand Slam Lighthouse Cruise

     On July 27th of this year, 2013, my wife and I took part in a “Grand Slam Lighthouse Cruise” sponsored by the Bar Harbor Whale Watch company and narrated by Jeremy D’Entremont, the foremost authority on the lighthouses of New England.  

Jeremy Doing His Thing
Having a Snack

     On this trip we were fortunate to see seventeen different lighthouses.  We were on the water for eight hours and traveled some 150 miles ranging from Schoodic Point to Owls Head, Maine. Below you will find a photo of each lighthouse.  To enlarge each photo, simply click on it.  I sincerely hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Bear Island Lighthouse
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse
Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse
Deer Island Thorofare (Mark Island) Lighthouse
Eagle Island Lighthouse
Faux Lighthouse off Stonington
Goose Rocks Lighthouse
Brown's Head Lighthouse
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
Owls Head Lighthouse
Heron Neck Lighthouse
Saddleback Ledge Lighthouse
Isle au Haut (Robinson Point) Lighthouse
Burnt Coat Harbor (Hockamock Head) Lighthouse - Swan's Island
Great Duck Island Lighthouse
Baker Island Lighthouse
Winter Harbor (Mark Island) Lighthouse
Egg Rock Lighthouse

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse

     On July 27th of this year, 2013, my wife and I took part in a “Grand Slam Lighthouse Cruise” sponsored by the Bar Harbor Whale Watch company and narrated by Jeremy D’Entremont, the foremost authority on the lighthouses of New England.  (Go to Story on Jeremy)  On this trip we were fortunate to see seventeen different lighthouses ranging from Schoodic Point to Owls Head.  I will be making a series of posts on these lighthouses progressing in the order we visited them.  The third one, featured here, is the Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse.

     The Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse is located on Green Island near the town of Brooklin, Maine.  It is situated west of Mount Desert Island on the west side of the bay for which the lighthouse is named.  The station has also been known as Eggemogin Lighthouse, as it is also situated at the eastern entrance to Eggemogin Reach, the coastal waterway that connects Penobscot Bay with Blue Hill Bay.  This low-lying island is somewhat less than one acre at high tide and about three times that size when the water is at its lowest.  At that time ledges extend just below the water between the island and the mainland.  Only the most adventurist lighthouse enthusiast should attempt this crossing. 

     During the mid-19th century the town of Ellsworth, on the Union River, was said to be the second-busiest lumber port in the world, and the Blue Hill Bay lighthouse was built to help guide ship traffic to this very busy port.

     The cylindrical white tower with attached one-and-a-half story dwelling was built in 1856, after the government purchased the island the previous year for $150. The lighthouse looks today much like it did when it was built, except for the addition in 1905 of a boathouse and brick oil house.

     Lighthouse keepers often supplemented their meager income with fishing and farming, but because the light towers were often built on rocky islands with little vegetation, keepers sometimes had to use neighboring islands to graze their sheep and cows during the summer. In a typical lighthouse, the whole family pitched in to help, with the children rowing to nearby islands to pick berries and other available edible plants. Most lighthouse families had at least one cow for milk and several hens for eggs. Some also had sheep for wool and possibly a few turkeys for holiday dinners.

     During the 1920s, a family living at a lighthouse like Blue Hill Bay was given a yearly ration of 500 gallons of kerosene and nine tons of coal. The kerosene was used to keep both the lighthouse and the keeper’s house lit, while the coal was used for heat. The coal was often not enough to last the winter, and had to be supplemented by driftwood gathered nearby. Fresh water came from rainwater collected on the roof and stored in a 4,500-gallon underground brick cistern.

     A 1920s keeper, named Roscoe Chandler, kept two cows on nearby Flye Island. Each spring, the cows were walked across the exposed rock during a low tide to graze all summer. The tides often didn’t coincide with the twice-daily milking times, so the family’s children often took the dory to the island, where they wandered the fifteen-acre island following the sounds of the cowbells. During thunderstorms, the cows often went into the sea and swam towards the lighthouse, and someone usually had to go out in a boat and herd them safely to dry land.

     The original beacon at Blue Hill Bay was a fourth-order Fresnel lens showing a fixed white light with a visible range of nine miles during clear weather, augmented by a fog bell. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933 and replaced in 1935 by an automated skeleton tower, which is now solar powered and still in use. The lighthouse was purchased in 1976 for use as a private residence by a Mr. Wilbur Trapp, a retired accountant from New Jersey who retired to nearby Brooklin, Maine. The Trapps had the house and accompanying outbuildings beautifully restored and installed a long floating walkway to his deepwater mooring, giving easy access to the island during all tides. The lighthouse changed hands again in 1995. The station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

     The Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse best photographed from the water on cruises originating from various towns along the coast. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Jeremy D'Entremont

     Several years ago I developed a passion for photographing lighthouses, primarily in Maine.  It didn't take long, however, before I was hooked, not only on shooting photos of these majestic beacons but on their incredibly rich history.  The stories of the people who lived in them as well as stories of the ghost of the people from the distant past are unbelievably addicting.  Furthermore, one cannot delve into this area without eventually meeting one Jeremy D'Entremont.  I cannot continue to offer this site, primarily on lighthouses, without doing a post on this outstanding individual.
Waiting For The Boat

(Please click on the highlighted text to connect to the corresponding web site.)

      Jeremy D'Entremont, without question, is the foremost authority on the lighthouses protecting mariners from the perils of the rugged coast of New England.  He has been researching and photographing them for close to thirty years now.  He has been an author, speaker, and tour guide for much of that time as well.  He is a Vice President and Historian of the American Lighthouse Foundation.
In addition, he founded the
Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and is Vice President of the Friends of Flying Santa .

     Just a few of the ten or more books Jeremy has written are, "The Lighthouses of Massachusetts", "The Lighthouses of Connecticut", "The Lighthouses of Rhode Island", "Great Shipwrecks of the Maine Coast", and "The Lighthouses of Maine".  The latter has been republished in several volumes each representing a 

In His Element
differentarea of the coast of Maine.  Check out and/or buy Jeremy's books at,

     In the foreword of his book, "The Lighthouse Handbook: New England", Bob Trapani, Jr., the Executive Director of the American Lighthouse Foundation, says, "D'Entremont has traveled countless lonely roads to lighthouses, sought out and traveled their obscure walking paths, and in many instances, scaled the staircases of these stately beacons to obtain more than just travel information, which makes "The New England Lighthouse Handbook" a must-have for both the novice and tried-and-true lighthouse enthusiast".

     In the introduction to that book, Jeremy says, "I am often asked, "What is it about lighthouses?  Why do they mean so much to so many people?"  I usually hem and haw before I attempt a reply because there is no simple succinct answer to the question.  Certainly, lighthouses are often pretty or ruggedly handsome, and
Taking a Break
they're usually in beautiful or dynamic locations.  Some of them are marvels of engineering, the measure of the technology of their time.  They're frequently among the oldest buildings in our coastal communities, and they serve to link to centuries past.  They remind us that our nation was built on maritime trade and that safe navigation was essential to the growth if that commerce.  Beyond that, they speak to something deep inside us."

         Jeremy has also written hundreds of articles in publications such as, "Lighthouse Digest" and "The Keeper's Log".  He wrote the "lighthouse" in The World Book Encyclopedia.  His photos have been featured in several magazines, including, "Soundings", "Offshore", and "Captains Guide".

        Jeremy launched his first web site, "New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide" in 1997.  He now operates the site, "New England  Lighthouses: A Virtual Tour" .
      If you ever get the opportunity and privilege to meet Jeremy D'Etremont don't pass it up. You will thoroughly enjoy the time you spend talking and you will walk away much the richer.  To all who enjoy lighthouses, Jeremy is truly a treasure of our time.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Random Blossoms

The following are just a few random blossoms from our yard and that of our neighbor.  Enjoy!