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.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lubec Channel Lighthouse

    In the late 1800s, Lubec, the most northeasterly town in the United States, was an important trade and fishing port. The town later became a center of the sardine industry; it was home to 20 packing plants.

     The slender channel called Lubec Narrows, between Lubec and Campobello Island, New Brunswick, was dredged in the early 1880s. The Lighthouse Board urged the funding of a lighthouse at the entrance to Lubec Narrows, which would make the channel “of value to commerce at night.” Congress appropriated $40,000 for a lighthouse in the summer of 1886.

     Title to the lighthouse site was secured from the State of Maine, and borings were made in 1887 into the “tough blue clay” at the shoal. As the project progressed, it became apparent that additional funds were needed. Congress appropriated  $12,000 more in 1888, and during the following year three contracts were made: one for the metalwork from Detroit, Michigan, one for Portland cement from Boston, and one for the construction of the lighthouse.

      Work resumed the following April and the subfoundation was completed in June. It consisted of 185 spruce piles driven within the cylinder. Twenty-three of the piles, forming a ring around the perimeter of the cylinder, were driven to a depth of 69 feet, and the 162 interior piles were driven 35 to 45 feet into the bottom. The cylinder was sunk to a depth of six feet and leveled, and then filled with concrete.

     After a final appropriation of $15,500, work was completed by the end of 1890. The lighthouse superstructure was completed by November 5, and a fifth-order Fresnel lens was installed in the lantern. A 1,200-pound fog bell, struck by machinery, was also installed.

     The station went into operation on December 31, 1890, with a white flash every 15 seconds shown from 61 feet above sea level. The tower was painted brown until 1903, when it was changed to white. 

       In 1989 the light was to be discontinued, but local residents mounted a "Save the Sparkplug" 
campaign. Automobile sparkplugs were handed out to gain attention for the cause. In 1992, a $700,000 renovation restored Lubec Channel Light to its best condition in decades. The renovation included the stabilization of the foundation, which had developed a tilt over the years. New plates were installed on the caisson and 200 cubic yards of concrete was pumped in. Twelve piles were then driven through the caisson into the bedrock. One of the piles was driven 149 feet. The lighthouse still has a six-degree list but is considered stable.

     In 2006, the lighthouse was made available to a suitable new steward under the guidelines of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. There were no applicants, so in July 2007 it was auctioned to Gary Zaremba for a high bid of $46,000.

Directions:  From the Mulholland Point Lighthouse, cross the F. D. Roosevelt International Bridge and take Rt. 189 through and south out of Lubec.  Turn left onto Sothe Lubec / Boot Cove Road (marked with a "Quoddy Head State Park" sign).  The Lubec Channel Light can be seen to the left about 1/3 to 1/2 mile.  It can also be seen from the F.D.R Bridge or close up tour boats out of Lubec.

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