Maine’s Shore Village Museum will soon be getting a new home on the Rockland waterfront thanks to a new public and private partnership that has been formed, which will call itself the Maine Lighthouse Institute.
The museum will move to the former site of Rockland’s Courier Gazette Newspaper, a building now owned and renovated by MBNA, the second largest credit card company in America, which operates in the Rockland area.
Current plans call for the lower level of the building to house the Rockland Police Department and the top level to house a display of artifacts depicting the local area, which would be open free of charge. The water side of the building would have an admission charge. It is here where the Maine Lights Institute would display the largest collection of lighthouse lenses in the country from former Shore Village Museum.
Former Coast Guardsman Ken Black, who also founded the museum, spent years gathering the collection of the Shore Village Museum, which has often been referred to as Maine’s Lighthouse Museum. Black is known in lighthouse circles as “Mr. Lighthouse” and he probably knows more about the technical operations of lighthouses that any living person.
He started the collection while in the Coast Guard and the display was originally housed at the Rockland Coast Guard Station and later moved to the current location in the old GAR Building which has now been sold. Because of the gigantic size of the collection, “Space has always been a problem,” says Black. This new move will give the collection a larger visibility; something that has been dreamed about for years.
Black, now 80, who is officially retired, has been so busy for the past 20 years working on his volunteer projects more hours than most people do with a normal job.
The new location for the lighthouse museum, which will have parking for over 100 cars, is expected to open to the public next year.
This story appeared in the
September 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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