Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bass Harbor Head Light

Bass Harbor LighthouseLocation: MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, ENTRANCE TO BASS HEAD HARBOR, ENTRANCE TO BLUE HILL HARBOR, NEAR BASS HARBOR, MAINE
Station Established: 1858
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858
Operational? YES
Automated? 1974
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • In 1858 a 32-foot brick lighthouse was built on Mount Desert Island to mark the entrance to Bass Head Harbor and Blue Hill Harbor. The lighthouse was connected to the Keeper’s house by a covered walkway. The Keeper’s quarters is a 1 1/2 story wood framed house.
  • In 1876 a bell tower and bell were installed. They were later removed. In 1898 a 4,000 pound bell replaced the original one.
  • The light is perched on a cliff. There was no boat landing at the site until 1894.
  • A brick oil house was built in 1902 some 205 feet northwest of the lighthouse. It still remains at the site.
  • Also in 1902 a fourth order Fresnel lens replaced the original fifth order lens. The fourth order lens is still used in the light today.
  • While the light is on a national park, the Coast Guard uses it as a residence. The grounds are open to the public but the house is not. The light is an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.