It seems there is a national day for everything, and August 7 is no exception. Today is National Lighthouse Day.
There is no better place to talk about lighthouses than in Maine where 71 dot the rocky coast. While today most are not operational, they at one time kept many a vessel from crashing into rocks that are just below the water’s surface at high tide.
The oldest and one of the best known lighthouses is the Portland Head Light on Cape Elizabeth. It was built in 1791 during George Washington’s first term as president. No telling how many times it has been photographed, but my favorite image is then taken by the hubby early one morning.
Lighthouses were managed by a Lighthouse Board before they came under the control of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. Since the 1980’s, most lighthouses on the Maine coast have been deactivated because of the associated operational costs. Until recently, the Owl’s Head Light was staffed by Coast Guard personnel stationed in Rockland. Though it is dark, that doesn’t keep thousands of visitors away.
A favorite lighthouse of mine is Marshall Point at the entrance of Port Clyde Harbor. It was established in 1832.
The keeper’s house is now a museum telling of the lighthouse and local marine history.
Some lighthouses, such as the one on Curtis Island at the mouth of Camden Harbor, have become private residences.
The same is true of Indian Island. That is the lighthouse that welcomes us home whenever we return from a day on the water. I wish it were mine!