Ram Island Ledge Light

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Ram Island Ledge Light
Ram Island Ledge Light.jpg
Ram Island Ledge Light
Ram Island Ledge Light is located in Maine
Ram Island Ledge Light
Location Portland Harbor, Casco bay
Coordinates 43°37′53.3″N 70°11′14.5″W / 43.631472°N 70.187361°W / 43.631472; -70.187361Coordinates: 43°37′53.3″N 70°11′14.5″W / 43.631472°N 70.187361°W / 43.631472; -70.187361
Year first constructed 1905
Year first lit 1905
Automated 1959
Foundation Natural/emplaced
Construction Granite blocks
Tower shape conical
Markings / pattern Natural (light gray) with black lantern
Focal height 77 feet (23 m)
Original lens Third order Fresnel lens
Range 8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi)
Characteristic Flashing (2) White 6s
Fog signal

HORN: 1 every 10s [1] [2]

Ram Island Ledge Light Station
Nearest city Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Architect US Army Corps of Engineers
MPS Light Stations of Maine MPS
NRHP reference # 88000157[3]
Added to NRHP March 14, 1988
Heritage place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

Ram Island Ledge Light is a lighthouse in Casco Bay, Maine, United States, marking the northern end of the main channel leading the harbor of Portland, Maine.


The Ram Island Ledges are a series of stone ledges, some of which break the waters at the southern end of Casco Bay, a short way south of Cushing Island. In 1855 an iron spindle was erected to protect sailors from these dangerous underwater ledges. The ledge continued to be the site of repeated shipwrecks. On February 24, 1900 the Allan Line steamship Californian (formerly named the State of California) ran aground on the ledge while en route from Portland to Glasgow, Scotland via Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a result of that accident, the United States Congress appropriated funds to build a lighthouse.

Construction began on May 1, 1903 and was completed in 1905. It is a twin of the Graves Light off Boston. The lighthouse was built of granite quarried from Vinalhaven, Maine. The lighthouse originally included a third-order Fresnel lens. The lighthouse was electrified in 1958, and then automated in 1959. The light was converted to solar power in January 2001. The Ram Island Ledge Light was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Ram Island Ledge Light Station on March 14, 1988, reference number 88000157.[3]

In July 2010, Ram Island Ledge Light was put up for sale to the general public. The minimum bid was $10,000.[4] The property had initially been made available at no charge to other government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations, but no interest was shown, so bids were opened to the general public. The winning bid, $190,000, came from a Windham surgeon.[5]

Ram Island Ledge Light 
The Ram Island Ledge Light is visible from the Portland Head Light 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Maine". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 
  2. ^ United States Coast Guard (2009). Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey. p. 62. 
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ Anderson, Amy (22 July 2010). "Ram Island Ledge light off Cape Elizabeth for sale, in need of care". The Forecaster. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Maxwell, Trevor (20 June 2011). "Still in the dark about Ram Island Ledge Light". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 20 June 2011.