Scenic USA - Maine

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse

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Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse - Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Although Portland Head Lighthouse marks the southern approach into Portland's natural harbor, Cape Elizabeth's rocky ledges just to the south were so treacherous two more beacons were erected.
   Honoring Princess Elizabeth, Captain John Smith dubbed the rocky promontory Cape Elizabeth in 1614. Over the last two centuries this rocky stretch of shoreline had claimed nearly 100 vessels. Portland Head Light Sunrise Hoping to eliminate confusion with the nearby Portland Head Lighthouse (inset), twin lighthouses were built on a twelve acre bluff overlooking the southern extent of Casco Bay. First lit in 1828, the lighthouse structures were built late in the year when the mortar froze. The lighthouse structures began showing signs of deterioration the follow year during inspection. Postponding repairs for as long as possible, weak mortar joints, rotten wood, an inadequate fog signal and a mechanical failure of the light mechanism eventually called for replacement lighthouses.
   Authorized by the Lighthouse Board in 1874, these well built lighthouses still stand today. The west lighthouse tower, discontinued in 1924, is owned privately. The eastern tower remains as an active navigational aid, but the keeper's house, remodeled in 1999, is privately owned and its grounds are not open to the public. This late day view, nearby the Two Lights State Park, is found at the end of Two Lights Terrace road.

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