Three Maine towns held referendums on weather or not the communities should accept ownership of their local lighthouse.
The results were overwhelming. In Camden Maine residents voted by a 10 to 1 margin to take possession of Curtis Island Lighthouse and in York and in Isle au Haut the results were similar.
In Camden residents voted 1358 to approve the measure while 137 people voted against the lighthouse. Down in York the people voted 3138 for Nubble Light (Cape Neddick Light Station) and only 288 people voted against the moved for ownership. Out on the remote Isle au Haut the town held an evening discussion meeting which drew a huge number of residents and tourists. In the end a majority of the register voters gave the nod in favor of ownership of the Robinson Point Lighthouse by a vote of 27 to 11.
The votes do not make the results final, since the measure still needs to be approved by the Maine Lights Selection Committee.
In other developments applications were submitted for ownership by the following groups for other Maine lighthouses.
Whitehead Island Light - Pine Island Co and the Friends of Whitehead light.
Burnt Island Light - Maine Maritime Museum, The Town of Southport, The Department of Marine Resources and the Burnt Island Society.
Rockland Breakwater Light - The City of Rockland
Monhegan Island Light - Monhegan Historical and Cultural Association.
Great Duck Island Light - College of the Atlantic and the Cultural Museum Association.
Isle of Haut Light - Town of Isle of Haut
Ram Island Light - Grand Banks Schooner Museum
Marshall Point Light - Town of St. George
Egg Rock Light - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Libby Island Light - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Matinicus Rock Light - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Fort Point Light - Maine State Bureau of Parks and Land
Brown's Head Light - Town of Vinalhaven
Mount Desert Rock Light - Maine College of the Atlantic
Manana Island Fog Station - Maine College of the Atlantic
Nash Island Light - Friends of Nash Island
There were no applications submitted for Spring Point Ledge Light, Goose Rocks Light, Franklin Island Light or Wood Island Light. On the last day that proposals were allowed to be accepted, the town of South Portland backed out of Spring Point Ledge Light, and the New England Lighthouse Foundation sent a hurried proposal to the Maine Lighthouse Selection Committee. The application was rejected because the Committee said it was incomplete.
The Maine Lights Selection Committee will review the applications and make a final decision on which applications will be approved. Each group or town selected for a ownership of a lighthouse will be responsible financially for maintenance and keeping the station open to the public and not be allowed to historically alter the property.
This will be the largest transfer of government lighthouse property in the history of the United States.
This story appeared in the
January 1998 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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