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Bear Island Lighthouse - Maine

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Bear Island Lighthouse - Maine


Photos in this album: 40


This lighthouse stands on Bear Island, an 11-acre (0.044 km2) islet 1,200 feet (365 meters) south of Mount Desert Island, at the entrance of Northeast Habor. Since it is privately leased, it can't be visited and is better seen by boat. Its tower has a height of 31 feet (9.45 meters).

When Captain Joseph Smith of the U.S. Navy visited Mount Desert Island in 1837 during a special voyage searching for sites requiring the construction of lighthouses, he concluded that nowhere else in this highly frequented by vessels area, a lighthouse was so much required as on the small islet called Bear.

The owner of the islet was William Moore, who demanded US$ 500 for the island even though he had bought it for just US$ 101.17. Finally, the lighthouse was built in 1839. Later, in 1852 it was damaged by a fire and rebuilt in 1853, using many of the original materials of the building (according to some lighthouse specialists).

In 1888, the keeper's stone house was in poor state, so it was rebuilt and completed in 1889, keeping the same characteristics as the old one.

In 1899, telephone service was installed in the islet.

By the 1980s, it was deteriorated and deactivated for several years. In 1987, it got under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, and with the help of the Friends of Acadia it was relit in 1989. Meanwhile, it was added on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

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