Scenic USA - Maine

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

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West Quoddy Head Light Station - Lubec, Maine

Photos by Lou Kellenberger
Lou Kellenberger Photography

   Geographically, Quoddy Head is the easternmost point of land in the United States. Quoddy Head State Park, some 530 acres, takes up a large section of Downeast Region headland, a tree-lined peninsula connected to the mainland by a thin neck. Meaning "fertile and beautiful place" in the Native Passamaquoddy language, the parkland highlights the West Quoddy Head Light Station.
   Purchased by the state of Maine in 1962, the park is now laced with five miles of trails which wind Lantern Room - Quoddy Head lighthouse, Lubec, Maine through the coastal forest and bogs rugged coastline. The 150 year old West Quoddy Lighthouse, with its distinctive red and white striped tower, was not painted for aesthetics, but used for daylight navigation. But the brightly colored tower turns out to be a marvelous subject for artists and photographers. The original lighthouse at this location dates back to the Jefferson era, when the 1808 beacon first warned mariners of the dangerous ledges and unforgiving Sail Rock at the entrance to Quoddy Narrows. The brick tower was replaced in 1857 and the light was electrified in 1934. The original beacon was fueled with sperm whale oil, and later converted to kerosene. The light keeper's quarters serves as a visitor center and museum, staffed with a cadre of knowledgeable volunteers.

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