Whaleback Light

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Whaleback Light
WhalebackLight2007.jpg
Whaleback Lighthouse
Whaleback Light is located in Maine
Whaleback Light
Location Piscataqua River entrance, Kittery, Maine
Coordinates 43°3′31.534″N 70°41′46.701″W / 43.05875944°N 70.69630583°W / 43.05875944; -70.69630583Coordinates: 43°3′31.534″N 70°41′46.701″W / 43.05875944°N 70.69630583°W / 43.05875944; -70.69630583
Year first constructed 1830
Year first lit 1872 (current tower)
Automated 1963
Foundation Stone / timber
Construction Granite blocks
Tower shape Conical
Markings / pattern Natural
Focal height 59 feet (18 m)
Original lens Fourth order Fresnel lens, 1855
Current lens VLB-44
Range 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi)
Characteristic Grp Flash (2) White, 10s
Fog signal HORN: 2 every 30s
Admiralty number J0232
ARLHS number USA-963
USCG number

1-0200[1][2][3]

Whaleback Light Station
Nearest city Kittery Point, Maine
Area less than one acre
Built 1872
Architect US Army Corps of Engineers
Governing body U.S. Coast Guard
MPS Light Stations of Maine MPS
NRHP Reference # 87002278[4]
Added to NRHP March 23, 1988

Whaleback Light is located offshore of Fort Foster and Wood Island in Kittery, Maine, at the entrance to the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth Harbor.

History[edit]

The station (known in early records as "Whales Back") was first established in 1820. In 1829, a replacement was built for $20,000. The tower was upgraded in 1855 with a new lantern and a fourth order Fresnel lens. A fog bell and tower were installed in 1863. In 1869, storms had caused cracks in the tower and foundation causing the decision to build a new tower in 1872. The new tower was built with dovetailed granite blocks alongside the original tower, which was removed in 1880. At some point the fog bell was replaced with a horn and in 1991, the volume of the horn was reduced because it was damaging the integrity of the structure.

The current lighthouse exhibits two white flashes every 10 seconds and is created by a modern VLB-44 LED light, which was installed in October 2009.[5]

In 2007, under the National Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, Whaleback lighthouse was made available to a suitable new steward. The American Lighthouse Foundation and its chapter Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses submitted an application and in November 2008, became the new owners.[6]

Whaleback Light was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Whaleback Light Station on March 23, 1988, reference number 87002278.[4]

Keepers [1][edit]

  • Samuel E. Haskell (1831–1839)
  • Joseph L. Locke (1839–1840)
  • Zachariah Chickering (1840)
  • John Kennard (1840)
  • Joseph D. Currier (1841)
  • Eliphalet Grover (1841–1843)
  • J. Prentiss Locke (1843-unknown)
  • Richard R. Lock (c. 1847)
  • Jedediah Rand (1849–1853)
  • Reuben T. Leavitt (1853–1859)
  • Oliver P. Tucker (1859–1860)
  • Gustavus A. Abbott (1860–1861)
  • Joel P. Reynolds (1861–1864)
  • Edward Parks (assistant, 1863–1864)
  • Nathaniel P. Campbell (1864)
  • Ambrose Card (assistant, then keeper 1864)
  • Gilbert Amee (assistant 1864, then keeper 1864-1869)
  • Mrs. M. M. Amee (assistant, 1864–1867)
  • Isaac W. Chauncy (assistant, 1867–1868)
  • James W. Varney (1869–1871)
  • Ferdinand Barr (assistant 1868-1871, became keeper 3/22/1871)
  • Emily F. Barr (assistant, 1871)
  • William H. Caswell (1871–1872)
  • Frank P. Caswell (assistant, 1871–1872)
  • Chandler Martin (1872–1878)
  • George R. Frost (assistant, 1872–1873)
  • Frank L. Chauncey (assistant, 1873 and 1876–1880)
  • John L. A. Martin (assistant 1874-1876)
  • Leander White (1878–1887)
  • John W. Lewis (assistant 1880-1882)
  • Brackett Lewis (assistant 1883-1885)
  • Ellison C. White (assistant 1885-1887, principal keeper 1887-1888)
  • James M. Haley (1888–1893)
  • Daniel Stevens (assistant 1887-1890)
  • John W. Robinson (assistant 1890-1892)
  • James Haley (Jr.?) (assistant 1892-1893)
  • Walter S. Amee (1893–1921)
  • Wallace S, Chase (assistant 1893-1894)
  • Alvah J. Tobey (assistant 1894-1899)
  • Joseph A. Pruett (assistant 1896-1897)
  • John W. Wetzel (assistant 1897-1924)
  • John P. Brooks (assistant, 1899–1915)
  • Arnold B. White (1921–1941)
  • W. A. Alley (c. 1935)
  • Maynard F. Farnsworth (c. 1922-1940s)
  • Charles U. Gardner (relief keeper, c, 1942–1943)
  • Francis D. Hickey (Coast Guard, c. 1956-1957)
  • Robert Brann (Coast Guard, c. 1957)
  • James Pope (Coast Guard, c. early 1960s)

Gallery[edit]

USCG photo circa 1950 
The original 1829 tower circa 1847. 
Whaleback Light circa 2009 - winter sunrise 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]