Honoring The Men And Women Who Built the "Liberty" Ships

 











Portland Breakwater Light
("Bug Light")

This unusual-looking lighthouse is built of curved cast-iron plates whose seams are cleverly disguised by six decorative Corinthian columns. Built in 1855 and rebuilt twenty years later, the lighthouse may have been the work of Thomas Ustick Walter, designer of the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The lighthouse's flashing red beacon helped guide ships from Casco Bay through the entrance to Portland Harbor. Wooden sheds and a six-room house for the lighthouse-keeper were added at a later date but have since been removed. The lighthouse itself was abandoned in 1943.

Historic American Buildings Survey
Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Divisio
 Washington, DC 20540 


1.  Bug Light in 1855

2.  Bug Light with light-keeper's cottage, about 1875

3.  Bug Light with light-keeper's cottage, about 1895

4.  Post Card, about 1900

5.  Post Card, about 1900

6.  Post Card, about 1900

7.  Post Card, about 1900

8.  About 1945

9.  About 1960

10.  About 1960

11.  About 1960

12.  Summer, 2001

Plans, Photographs and Data for Portland Breakwater Light Historic American Buildings Survey No HABS Me-112, prepared by F. Blair Reeves, National Park Service, July 1962, on the Internet at Library of Congress, American Memory Project, Historic American Buildings Survey

Plans pg 1
Plans pg 2

Data pg 1
Data pg 2
Data pg 3
Data pg 4

Data pg 5
Data pg 6
Data pg 7
Data pg 8
Data pg 9
Data pg 10
Data pg 11

 

Sources of Photos:
1-2.  Historic Light Station Information - Photography - MAINE

3-8.  With permission from Jeremy D'Entremont.  New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide - Portland Breakwater Light

9-11.  Library of Congress, American Memory Project, Historic American Buildings Survey

12.  The webmaster, Summer 2001.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Spring Point Ledge is a dangerous obstruction on the west side of the main shipping channel into Portland Harbor. Many vessels ran aground before requests from seven steamship companies in 1891 convinced the government to build a lighthouse on the ledge.

Spring Point Ledge Light is a fairly typical "sparkplug" style lighthouse of the period, built on a cylindrical cast-iron caisson. Unlike many, however, the tower is built of brick rather than cast-iron.

The 54-foot lighthouse has a storeroom and cistern in the basement, topped by four levels including a keeper's office and two levels of living quarters. The lantern was fitted with a fifth order Fresnel lens. An oil room in the basement contained a 239-gallon tank for the kerosene that fueled the light in its early days, until it was electrified in 1934.

In its early years the foundation of Spring Point Ledge Light was battered and damaged by ice. Granite blocks were piled around the foundation to protect it and there have been no further problems.

Spring Point Ledge Light was electrified in 1934. In 1951 a 900-foot breakwater was constructed with 50,000 tons of granite joining the lighthouse to the mainland.

Exerpted with permission from
Jeremy D'Entremont.
New England Lighthouses: 
A Virtual Guide - Spring Point Ledge Light


1.  Spring Point Ledge Light

2.  Spring Point Ledge Light, about 1951

3.  Plan for Spring Point Ledge Light

4.  Post Card, about 1900

5.  Post Card, about 1900

6.  Post Card, about 1900

7.  Princess Cruise Ship near Spring Point Light

8.  Spring Point Light from a gun emplacement, Ft. Preble

Sources of Photos:

1-2.  US Coast Guard, Historic Light Station Information - Photography - MAINE

3.  Collection of Edward Rowe Snow, courtesy of Dorothy Bicknell

4-6.  Jeremy D'Entremont.  New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide - Spring Point Ledge Light

7-8.  The webmaster, Summer 2001.