Digest>Archives> June 2005

The "Grand Daddy" of America's lighthouses gets a makeover

By Timothy Harrison.

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Photo by: Timothy Harrison

People visiting Maine's historic Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth this summer might be amazed at how good the light station and grounds are, especially when they find out the station is over 200 years old.

You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
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Photo by: Timothy Harrison

The answer is that this past spring, the station received a much-needed makeover, which included refurbishing the tower and keepers house. Also, new interpretative signage has been installed and major landscaping work has been done.

You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
Photo by: Timothy Harrison

John Hancock, who was governor of Massachusetts, originally ordered construction of the lighthouse. In those days, Maine was still part of Massachusetts. When the new federal government was formed, one of the first acts of the First Congress of the United States was to federalize all lighthouses. Thus, in 1791, Portland Head Light became the first lighthouse to be completed under the new government of the United States of America.

Portland Head Light is one of the most visited and photographed lighthouses

in the world.

The $260,000 makeover project was funded from sales at the gift shop located on the grounds. CertaPro Painters, the largest North American residential painting company, painted the tower and keepers quarters.

This story appeared in the June 2005 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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