Gay Head Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Gay Head gets its name from the varied colors of the cliffs that flow down
to the ocean. Most people appreciate the beauty of the colors, but to Keeper
Ebenezer Skiff, they were incentives to seek pay raises. Twice he began
letters to the Secretary of the Treasury and to the Commissioner of the
Revenue: "Clay ochre and earth of various colours from which this place
derived its name" he said "ascend in a sheet of wind from the high cliffs
and catch on the glass of the light-house"...he had to haul water for more
than a mile and a half because any rainwater he could catch was "red as
blood with oker blown from the clifts."
Pemaquid Point Light, Bristol, Maine
In the year 1903, the
keeper of Pemaquid Point Light was Captain Clarence Marr, a life saver of
long experience and the hero of many spectacular rescues. On the afternoon
of September 16, dense fog lifted suddenly to disclose a stormy, dangerous
sky, and the wind began to breeze up from the south-southwest. Captain
Poole, skipper of the fishing schooner, "George F. Edmonds" miscalculated
the drift of this schooner into Lighthouse Cove during the height of the
storm--he and 13 crewmen perished.
West Chop Light,
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
West Chop Light
still stands as an important beacon for Vineyard Haven Harbor on Martha’s
Vineyard Island. Vineyard Haven (formerly called Holmes Hole) served as an
important refuge for shipping in Vineyard Sound because of its protected
aspect. Over the years Vineyard Haven became and important commercial
center, and even today is the only year-round port used by the Steamship
Authority ferry service to the island.
New London Ledge Light, New London, Connecticut
In 1938, the worst hurricane of the 20th century swept through New England.
The keeper, Howard Beebe, reported that the storm had "washed out
everything." In the early morning hours, the engine quit, but the light kept
working. Waves came through
the second floor and 11 tons of coal washed out of the basement
Marshall Point Lighthouse,
Port Clyde Harbor, Maine
Light at Port Clyde was first established by the Lighthouse Service in 1832. The light stands watch over the
entrance to Port Clyde Harbor on the eastern side of Muscongus Bay. The light tower is similar to the one at
Isle au Haut. Located at the water’s edge on an outcropping of boulder, thee white conical tower is make of
brick and its base of cut granite. The lantern for many years held a fifth-order lens whose focal plane was
30 feet above the water. The tower, with its base, is only 31 feet tall. A wood bridge resting on granite
piles connects the light tower to the land
An interesting story
about on e of the keeper, told how an appeal was made to President Taylor in 1849 to retain the current keeper,
Mrs. Angeline Nickerson, widow of Keeper Simeon Nickerson, who upon her husband’s death was appointed keeper.
A petition had circulated for the re-appointment of Collins Howe, who was maneuvering to regain his position
at the lights. A masterpiece of letter-writing was that of Joshua Nickerson (relative?), of Chatham. His message
to President Taylor was convincing, and Mrs. Nickerson remained at the lights for many more years.
Cape Neddick Light, York, Maine
In 1874, Congress
appropriated $15,000 for the building of a lighthouse on the Nubble. The 41-foot cast-iron tower, lined with brick,
was first illuminated on July 1, 1879. At first the lighthouse was painted red, showing a fixed red light through a
fourth-order Fresnel lens. The “Nubble Light” still exhibits a red light, but the tower has been painted white since
1902. The red oil house (the only red oil house in the United States) was built in 1902, and the walkway
connecting the lighthouse to the keeper’s house was added in 1911. For a time the Nubble’s 3.000 pound fog bell
could be heard by the keeper at Boon Island six miles away.
Ned Point Light,
"Uncle Leonard Hammond thought to fool the lighthouse inspector
concerning the progress of the lighthouse construction by taking
him to his bar while the workers laid planks across barrels to
resemble a floor--the inspector took one step into the lighthouse and
promptly disappeared into the foundation!"
"The smell of the salt, the sting of the spray
The icy wind that bites
The breaking of the dawn, the lighting of the day
And black New England nights"
~excerpt from a
poem by Jeannette Lee Haskins, daughter of Keeper Archford Haskins