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.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Burnt Island Lighthouse

     The town of Boothbay—originally known as Townsend and encompassing an area that now includes the towns of Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Southport—was a center for shipbuilding, gristmills, and fishing in the 1700s. In 1764, local mariners and merchants petitioned the government for a lighthouse on Damariscove Island, five miles south of Boothbay Harbor.

     The petition stated that a lighthouse at that location would serve to guide vessels to the Sheepscot River and Boothbay, and would also help those vessels passing along the coast. Two vessels, according to the petition, had been wrecked at Damariscove Island in the previous winter with some loss of life.

     Damariscove Island never got a lighthouse, and soon the Revolution and the War of 1812 slowed the local economy. Coastal trade and fishing were again on the rise by 1820. On March 3, 1821, Congress appropriated $10,500 for three lighthouses on the Maine coast, one of them on Burnt Island at the west side of the entrance to Boothbay Harbor.

     The rubblestone tower, 20 feet tall to the base of the lantern, was accompanied by a small keeper’s house, also constructed of stone. The tower was topped by an octagonal wrought-iron lantern, seven feet high, containing lighting apparatus consisting of 10 whale oil lamps and corresponding 13-inch reflectors. The light went into service in November 1821.

     A walkway between the tower and house was also added in 1857. The boathouse and oil house that still remain were built in 1880 and 1899 respectively. A fog bell tower and a 1,029-pound bell with automatic striking machinery, were added in 1895.

      In February 1998, as part of the Maine Lights Program, the Maine Lighthouse Selection Committee approved the transfer of Burnt Island Light to the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Grants from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, MBNA, and the Davis Foundation helped launch the restoration of the station.

     A public tour and educational program is offered in summer. The Novelty, located at Pier 8 in Boothbay Harbor, serves as the ferry to the island.

     Directions From U.S. Rt. 1 take ME 27 south into Boothbay Harbor.  All tour boats pass the   light.  To view the light from shore, take ME 27 north to Union St.  Turn right then right again at Atlantic Ave.  Continue past Lobster Cove Rd. and Roads End Rd. to Grand View Rd.  The lighthouse may be seen from several points along that road heading to the Spruce Point Inn.  Or, take Commercial St. to the Tugboat Inn.  The light can be seen from the docks there.  Morning light is best for photographs.

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