Scenic USA - Maine

Bear Island Lighthouse

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Bear Island Lighthouse - Cranberry Isles, Maine

Photos by Jack Ryan
Jack's Zenfolio Gallery

     Bear Island, the smallest of Maine's Cranberry Isles, became a part of Acadia National Park in 1987. Home to the Bear Island Lighthouse, this photograph captures Maine's typical coastline, its rocky shores, wind stirred waters and ever-present conifers. The island saw its first lighthouse, authorized by President Martin Van Buren, in 1839. The original light keeper's house was topped with a light tower, using flammable oil to provide the navigational beam. It's no wonder that the first station was reduced to ashes in 1852.
     The present lighthouse was built in 1890, Light Station - Bear Island, Maine complete with a one and a half story light keeper's dwelling. The Bear Island Lighthouse remained a family operated station through the 1960s, but discontinued lighthouse operations in the early 1980s. Falling into disrepair, the island structures soon became the focus of a refurb project. Taking three years and 17,000 dollars, Friends of Acadia brought the light station back to life. The lighthouse was relit in 1989 and acted as a private aid to navigation. Today lighthouse is inoperative. Owned by the National Parks Service, the light station is leased as a private residence. For lighthouse fans a toll ferry, bound for Islesford and the Islesford Historical Museum, passes close to Bear Island and the lighthouse.

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