Cape Neddick Light

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Cape Neddick Light
Cape-Neddick-Light.jpg
Cape Neddick Lighthouse in 2007
Cape Neddick Light is located in Maine
Cape Neddick Light
Location Cape Neddick, Maine
Coordinates 43°9′54.733″N 70°35′27.943″W / 43.16520361°N 70.59109528°W / 43.16520361; -70.59109528Coordinates: 43°9′54.733″N 70°35′27.943″W / 43.16520361°N 70.59109528°W / 43.16520361; -70.59109528
Year first constructed 1879
Automated 1987
Foundation Concrete
Construction Cast iron plate with brick lining
Tower shape cylindrical
Markings / pattern white with black lantern
Focal height 88 ft (27 m)
Original lens Fourth order Fresnel
Range 13 nautical miles (24 km; 15 mi)
Characteristic Isophase Red 6s. Lighted throughout 24 hours.
Fog signal HORN: 1 every 10s
USCG number 1-125[1][2]
Cape Neddick Light Station
Location Cape Neddick, York, Maine
Governing body United States Coast Guard
NRHP Reference # 85000844[3]
Added to NRHP April 16, 1985

Cape Neddick Lighthouse is a lighthouse in Cape Neddick, York, Maine. In 1874 Congress appropriated $15,000 to build a light station at the "Nubble" and in 1879 construction began. Cape Neddick Light Station was dedicated by the U.S. Lighthouse Service and put into use in 1879. It is still in use today.

Plans had been in the works to build a lighthouse on the site since 1837. The tower is lined with brick and sheathed with cast iron. It stands 41 feet (12 m) tall but the light is 88 feet (27 m) above sea level because of the additional height of the steep rocky islet on which it sits. Unusually, the stanchions of the walkway railing around the lantern room are decorated with 4-inch (100 mm) brass replicas of the lighthouse itself.

Location[edit]

The Cape Neddick Lighthouse stands on Nubble Island about 100 yards (91 m) off Cape Neddick Point. It is commonly known as Nubble Light or simply The Nubble. Cape Neddick Point is at the north end of Long Sands Beach in the village of York Beach. The lighthouse is inaccessible to the general public, but the nearby mainland is occupied by Sohier Park which offers a telescope with which to view the lighthouse and a gift shop with a "Nubble" theme.

Significance[edit]

Nubble Light is a famous American icon and a classic example of a lighthouse. The Voyager spacecraft, which carries photographs of Earth’s most prominent man made structures and natural features should it fall into the hands of intelligent extraterrestrials, includes a photo of Nubble Light with images of the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.[4]

Cape Neddick Light is one of the last eight lights in Maine to still have its Fresnel lens. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Cape Neddick Light Station on April 16, 1985, reference number 85000844.

The lighthouse and island were featured in the movie "Lost Boundaries" (1949) starring Mel Ferrer.

Speculative History[edit]

Although the origin of the little lighthouse adornments is unknown, there are many other stories about the Nubble Light. Among them is the story of the keeper and his wife who, in 1912, decided to take advantage of the booming tourist business at the York beaches. They developed a lively business ferrying tourists across to the island and giving tours. The trade grew so lively that the light was neglected and the keeper fired.[5] Another keeper lived on the island with his 19-pound (8.6 kg) cat who was an attraction in himself, especially when he reputedly swam across the channel to visit mainland friends. It is not always summer, though, and another story lends balance to lighthouse living. The Nubble is such a windy spot that in the winter, the temperature dropped so low that the flow of lamp oil to the incandescent oil vapor lamp was impeded. The problem was solved in 1938 when the lamp was electrified. That same year, the outhouse was closed, and the keeper and his family also received indoor plumbing.

Gallery[edit]

Cape Neddick Light
2006 
Postcard circa 1920 
U.S. Coast Guard photo showing the original bell tower 
A later US Coast Guard photo 
Reflected in a puddle 2010 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ United States Coast Guard (2009). Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey. p. 2. 
  2. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Maine". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 2009-08-08. 
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ Cape Neddick Light, visitmaine.org
  5. ^ Lighthouses.com, Cape Neddick Light.