The current Portland Breakwater Lighthouse in South Portland, Maine was built in 1875 to replace an earlier wooden tower that was moved to the Little Diamond Island Lighthouse Depot to become a watch tower and storage building that was later destroyed.
Interestingly, Preston L. Marr, the last lighthouse keeper to serve at the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, who became the keeper in 1919, had followed in his father’s light keeping footsteps. By the time Preston Marr became the keeper at Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, he had already been a veteran lighthouse keeper, having previously served at Maine’s Cuckolds Lighthouse.
In 1934, when the lighthouse was automated, Preston Marr lost his job, and the lighthouse was cared for by the keeper at the nearby Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse. By 1935, the keeper’s house had been demolished, leaving only the tower. During World War II, most of the land by the breakwater was filled in; and by 1942, the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse was discontinued.
In August of 2002, the restored lighthouse was relighted by the South Portland Rotary Club as a private aid to navigation. The area is now known as Bug Light Park, and it is a popular spot with both locals, as well as tourists.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2017 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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