Bass Harbor Head Light

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Bass Harbor Head Light
Bass Harbor Head Light Station 2016.jpg
LocationTremont, Maine
Coordinates44°13′18.5″N 68°20′14.2″W / 44.221806°N 68.337278°W / 44.221806; -68.337278Coordinates: 44°13′18.5″N 68°20′14.2″W / 44.221806°N 68.337278°W / 44.221806; -68.337278
First lit1858
Tower shapeCylindrical tower
MarkingsWhite with black marking
Tower height10 m (33 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height56 feet (17 m)
LensFourth Order Fresnel lens (original),
Fourth Order Fresnel lens (current)
Range13 nautical miles (24 km; 15 mi)
CharacteristicOcculting red, 4s
Fog signalnone
Admiralty numberJ0054 Edit this on Wikidata
ARLHS numberUSA041 Edit this on Wikidata
USCG number1-2335[1][2][3][4]
HeritageNRHP listed place Edit this on Wikidata
Bass Harbor Head Light Station
Nearest cityBass Harbor, Maine
Area2.5 acres (1.0 ha)
ArchitectUS Army Corps of Engineers
MPSLight Stations of Maine MPS
NRHP reference No.87002273 [5]
Added to NRHPJanuary 21, 1988

Bass Harbor Head Light is a lighthouse located within Acadia National Park in the southwest portion of Mount Desert Island, Maine, marking the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay.


Bell at base of tower

The history of Bass Harbor Head Light dates to 1855, when it was determined that there was sufficient reason for a lighthouse at the mouth of Bass Harbor. In 1885, the U.S. Congress appropriated $5,000 for construction of the lighthouse. In 1876, construction was completed on a fog bell and tower, since removed.[1] A much larger 4,000-pound (1800 kg) bell was placed inside the tower in 1898.[6] The house of the lightkeeper remains in its original configuration with the exception of a 10-foot addition that was added in 1900.[6] The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Bass Harbor Head Light Station on January 21, 1988, reference number 87002273.[5]

In 1902, an oil storage house constructed of brick was built 205 feet northwest of the lighthouse.[1]

Bass Harbor's fifth order Fresnel lens was replaced in 1902 with a larger fourth order. This lens was manufactured by the French company Henry-Lepaute. This lens remains in service today.[7]


Today, the house is a private residence for a local Coast Guard member and his family. Tourists can get close to the bell and light via a concrete path, but most of the grounds remain private. There is a short walk which takes one to a series of wooden steps that lead down onto the many granite boulders that provide a great view of the harbor side of the lighthouse.[1]


  • John Thurston (1858–1861)
  • John Rick (1861–1865)
  • John Wilson (1865–1869)
  • Charles B. Gilley (1869–1872)
  • James L. Wilson (1872–1880)
  • C. F. Chase (1880–1890)
  • William T. Holbrook (1890–1894)
  • Willis Dolliver (1894–1912)
  • Joseph M. Gray (c.1921-1938)
  • Elmer Reed (1938–1940)
  • Eugene L. Coleman (?)
  • Cecil A. Mareno (1960s)
  • Walter D. Moulton (U.S. Coast Guard, 1962-1963)
  • Leverett Stanley (1940–1950)[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e New England Lighthouses, A Virtual Guide: Bass Harbor Head Light
  2. ^ Inventory of Historic Lighthouses: Maine Lighthouses
  3. ^ Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2009. p. 23.
  4. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Maine". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01.
  5. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Silverman, Irving (1998). The Historic Homes of the Town of Tremont... A Perspective In Time. Tremont, Maine: Tremont Historical Society. p. 7.
  7. ^ "Classical Lenses in Operation" (PDF). US Coast Guard. 2009-08-06. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-25.

External links[edit]