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.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Franklin Island Lighthouse

  "In Muscongus Bay we could see the lonely tower
of the light on Franklin Island." - Arthur Poland

     Twelve-acre Franklin Island, at the entrance to Muscongus Bay, is about six miles from the town of Friendship and about midway between Pemaquid Point and Port Clyde. Maritime trade was booming in the early 1800s in the vicinity of Muscongus Bay and the St. George River, and many vessels were wrecked on the treacherous rocks near Franklin Island.

     The Franklin Island lighthouse station was the first of many established in Maine in the 1800s.  Congress authorized a lighthouse on the island on April 21, 1806, and the buildings were completed in early 1807.  The lighthouse and dwelling were rebuilt in 1831.  The new rubblestone tower was 31 feet high to the lantern deck, and the octagonal wrought iron lantern was fitted with 10 lamps and 13-inch reflectors.

     The Portland Head and Seguin Island stations, built in the 1790s, are the only others in Maine to pre-date Franklin Island. The original daymarker was replaced in 1855 by the existing 45 foot, cylindrical, brick tower.  Located on the northwest side of Franklin Island at the mouth of Muscongus Bay, 27 of Maine's lighthouses were not yet even built by the time the Franklin light was in need of renovation.  The light was automated and the keeper's house demolished in 1967.

     Management of the site was contracted to a private, non-profit organization named Franklin Light Preservation, Inc., under a contract with the Coast Guard. The island is part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and the light remains an active aid to navigation.  Located roughly 6.5 miles southwest of Port Clyde, the Franklin Island lighthouse grounds are open to the public but are only accessible by boat.

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