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, May 11, 2014

Perkin's Island Lighthouse

    In 1892, a total of 3,137 vessels were counted entering the Kennebec River, excluding the large passenger steamships that plied the river daily. For years, the Kennebec Steamboat Company maintained lanterns at turning points and other difficult parts of the river. In 1892, the Lighthouse Board asked Congress for $16, 725 for the establishment of several more substantial aids to navigation, including a "fixed red lens-lantern light" with a fog bell on the southwest point of Perkins Island, on the east side of the river, about two miles from its mouth.

      The request was repeated in 1893 and in December 1894, when Representative Dingley of Maine introduced a bill calling for $17,000 for the new river aids. Congress approved the $17,000 appropriation in early 1895.

     The light went into service in February 1898. The station originally consisted of a 23-foot octagonal wooden lighthouse tower, a one-and-one-half story wood-frame keeper's house with six rooms, and a barn. A cistern in the cellar of the house held 2,350 gallons of water for the keeper and his family.

     A boathouse and boatslip were added in 1901. In 1902, a pyramidal wood-frame bell tower, with a 1,000-pound fog bell, was added, and the light was upgraded from a lens-lantern to a fifth-order Fresnel lens. The last major change to the station was the addition of a small oil house for the storage of kerosene and another outbuilding in 1906.

     On June 16, 1931, Keeper Eugene Osgood left the light station to pick up his mail in Phippsburg. He happened to see a man struggling in the currents in a sluiceway. The man had been thrown from his rowboat as he tried to cross the sluiceway. Thinking quickly, Osgood launched his own boat and soon rescued the drowning man. For his trouble the keeper received an official commendation from the Secretary of Commerce.

      On another occasion, Osgood took in a party of 19 when their boat grounded near the island during a thunderstorm. The keeper's wife fed the hungry and grateful group.

     The light was automated in 1959,. The fog bell was removed from the tower and is now on the grounds of the Georgetown High School.

     The light station, except for the tower itself, was transferred to the State of Maine in the 1960s. In 1974 the Georgetown Conservation Commission ran a short-lived Marine Awareness Program for high school students on the island.

     Perkins Island Light remains an active aid to navigation. The keeper's house is in a state of severe disrepair. In late 2000, a restoration of the bell tower took place, funded by the Maine Department of Conservation and a New Century Program Preservation Grant, administered by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. Local resident Joshua Bate was the project foreman and volunteers from around the state helped with the restoration.

     Directions:  From U.S. Route 1, take High Street/RT 209 to Phippsburg.  Turn Left onto Parker Harbor Rd.  This road follows the river into the village of Parker Head.  The Lighthouse can be seen, distantly across the Kennebec River.  An excursion boat from Maine Maritime Museum or Boothbay Harbor will offer the best views.

     CreditsI would like to thank Jeremy D'Entremont, webmaster of,, for sharing the above history.  Jeremy is a speaker, author, historian, and tour guide who is widely recognized as the foremost authority on the lighthouses of New England.  To view a story on him, go to, (Jeremy D'Entremont).  

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