Camera directed towards full sun in last image.
Photography by Gracie – © All rights reserved
Portland Head has long protected Portland and the adjacent area. Cape Elizabeth residents were deeply committed to American independence from British rule. In 1776, the new Town of Cape Elizabeth posted a guard of eight soldiers at Portland Head to warn citizens of coming British attacks.
In 1787, the General Court of Massachusetts (the Massachusetts legislature) provided $750 to begin construction of a lighthouse. In 1790, when the United States Government took over the responsibility of all lighthouses, Congress appropriated $1,500 for its completion. The original tower measured 72′ from base to lantern deck and was lit with 16 whale oil lamps. It was first lit on January 10, 1791.
Construction of the first Keeper’s Quarters began in 1790 as the result of a contract signed by Massachusetts Governor John Hancock. A one story dwelling built to replace the first keeper’s house was erected in 1816. It measured 34′ x 20′ with two rooms, a cellar and a porch in the rear.
By 1864 a 4th order Fresnel lens and a cast iron staircase were installed.
By 1865, the tower was raised 20′ and a 2nd order Fresnel lens was installed. A portion of this lens may now be seen at the Museum at Portland Head Light. Except for a period between1883 and1885, this lens was in the lighthouse until 1958.
Late on Christmas Eve in 1886, the three masted bark Annie C. Maguire struck the ledge at Portland Head. Keeper Joshua Strout, his son, wife, and volunteers rigged an ordinary ladder as a gangplank between the shore and the ledge the ship was heeled against. Captain O’Neil, the ship’s master, his wife, two mates, and the nine man crew clambered onto the ledge and then to safety . The cause of the wreck is puzzling since visibility was not a problem. Members of the crew reported they “plainly saw Portland Light before the disaster and are unable to account for same.”
The current Keepers’ Quarters building was constructed in 1891 as a two story duplex. Until 1989, it was home to the head and assistant lighthouse keepers and their families.
Portland Head Light was the responsibility of the United States Department of the Treasury from 1790 to 1852 when management was transferred to the US Lighthouse Board. The Board was reorganized into the Bureau of Lighthouses in 1910. In 1939, aids to navigation became the responsibility of the United States Coast Guard. On August 7th, 1989, Petty Officer Davis Simpson struck the US flag for the last time at the decommissioning ceremony recognizing the automation of the lighthouse. The property was leased in 1990 to the Town of Cape Elizabeth. Three years later, through the efforts of United States Senator George Mitchell, the property was deeded to the Town. The United States Coast Guard maintains the actual light and the fog signal, but the remainder of the property is managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth.
Photography by Gracie – © All rights reserved
Photography by Gracie – © All rights reserved – Please do NOT use without permission! (Original)
Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy fiction. His books have sold more than 350 million copies which have been made into many movies and television films. As of 2011, King has written and published 49 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, five non-fiction books, and nine collections of short stories. Most of his stories are set in his homestate of Maine, although some are also set in Colorado and Florida. He has collaborated with author Peter Straub and together they wrote The Talisman and Black House.
King has received Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Society Awards, his novella The Way Station was a Nebula Award novelette nominee and, in 2003, the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
King and his wife, Tabitha, have three children, Naomi, Joe and Owen. Tabitha, Joe and Owen are also published writers. More at wikipedia
Stephen King’s official website here.
Bess Rodriguez – Artist
At less than two years of age, Bess Rodriguez began to draw…in color. Her parents encouraged her innate interest in art. In high school, she was fortunate to have a gifted art teacher who further whetted her appetite for art, specifically for painting. Bess began painting in earnest in college and spent a summer in Brittany, France in 1980 where her keen interest in plein-air painting developed. Wherever she has lived, she has always found an art teacher from whom she gleaned and extracted “golden nuggets” of wisdom and culled all these together, along with personal and practical experiences to develop a unique and eclectic form of expressionism.
I love this woman’s paintings – check out her work and profile here.