Item 66651 - Bear Island Lighthouse, ca. 1935

Item 66651 - Bear Island Lighthouse, ca. 1935
Contributed by Boston Public Library
Item 66651
Bear Island Lighthouse, ca. 1935
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Image Info

The site of the Bear Island Lighthouse, situated on one of the five Cranberry Isles off the coast of Mount Desert Island, was selected by Captain Joseph Smith of the U.S. Navy. After approval by President Martin Van Buren, the lighthouse was built in 1839 to guide traffic into Northeast Harbor and Somes Sound. The focal point of the 31-foot tower is 101 feet, as it sits atop a 70-foot cliff.

The original lighthouse was significantly damaged in an 1852 fire and rebuilt the following year with a keeper’s house constructed around 1889. The lighthouse passed to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. The reconstruction likely used many of the original materials but also included the addition of a round brick tower.

The lighthouse became automated in 1950 and was decommissioned and replaced by lighted buoys in 1981. Bear Island is managed in part by the National Park Service, but the lighthouse is privately owned and leased.

The caption reads, "Bear Island Light House, North East Harbor, Maine."

The Tichnor Brothers printing company published this type of postcard circa 1930-1945.

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