Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Several people have asked for more information about Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, proving that summer really is around the corner and we’re all making plans at last! The lighthouse is located in New Harbor, Maine,

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse at Sunrise Photo (c) Nathaniel Hammond
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse at Sunrise
Photo (c) Nathaniel Hammond
on the Pemaquid Peninsula, and unlike many lighthouses, it’s very easily accessible by car. A lovely park surrounds the lighthouse tower and the former keeper’s quarters. Entrance fee for the park is $2 per person. I haven’t been to the Fishermen’s Museum in the keeper’s house this spring, but in past years, entrance to the museum and to the tower itself has been free, with donations happily accepted by the volunteer group that keeps everything shipshape.
Built in 1827, the lighthouse was first illuminated with whale oil during the heyday of the New England whaling industry, and later by kerosene. It was automated in 1934, ending a need for a lighthouse keeper and his family to be on the premises at all times. If you visit, check out the brick building for the fog bell. When dense fog rolled in, as it often does here, early keepers rang the bell by hand. Later a steam system was set up to ring the bell, and later still, a system of weights. When you see the rugged cliffs on which the lighthouse stands, you’ll understand why mariners appreciated both the light and the bell on the foggy evenings for which Maine is so well known.
Enjoy your visit, and perhaps you’ll even see the resident ghost, a red-haired woman who is said to haunt the keeper’s house from time to time!
Thanks for stopping by, and best wishes to everyone for a happy and thoughtful Memorial Day weekend.

Springtime on a Small Maine Island

It took a while this year, but spring is now most definitely here. Tulips are blooming, lilacs are budding, and over the last few days a couple of sailboats have drifted past my office window. It’s all the more enjoyable because it took so darned long to get here this year.
Now’s the time to start thinking of summer vacations, so why not consider a tour of some or all of Maine’s iconic lighthouses? One of my favorites is Pemaquid Light, located in New Harbor on the Pemaquid Peninsula. This is lighthouse on the back of the Maine state quarter. Nothing beats seeing it in person, however. Pemaquid Light sits on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Waves crash over the rocks below, and the whole scene is a photographer’s dream, especially at daybreak and at sunset. The former keeper’s house is now a lovely little maritime museum run by volunteers. And all but the shortest visitors are welcome to climb the steep stairs into the light itself for some incredible views. (Alas, for safety reasons very small children will have to wait until they grow a bit.) A little park surrounds the lighthouse and there’s usually ample parking at a minimal per person fee.

Lighthouses and lobsters are the essence of summer in Maine. Photo (c) Nathaniel Hammond
Lighthouses and lobsters are the essence of summer in Maine. Photo (c) Nathaniel Hammond

I’ll write about some of Maine’s other lighthouses in future posts. Until then, have fun planning a visit to beautiful New England where spring has sprung at last!