Monthly Archives: October 2013

Cast Iron Tower at Portland Breakwater

I posted a plan and photo of the first tower on the Portland Breakwater a few days ago.  Here is a historic image of the current cast iron tower constructed on the breakwater in 1875.  Note that the building attached to the tower no longer exists.  And the current tower is now painted white rather than a dark color. Below is a Historic American Building Survey (HABS) drawing of the current tower.  Note the classical columns.  You can download high-resolution HABS/HAER/HAL drawings and photos from the Built in America section of the Library of Congress website.

Imageportland brw 2006

portland drawing


Pemaquid Point at Sunset

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is a popular spot for photographers at sunset. During a recent visit, we all took turns capturing the lighthouse in the reflection.  My best shot was this cell phone image.  Makes me wonder why I bother with the regular camera!

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in October 2013. Copyright Candace Clifford

Here is a far older image of the same tower taken circa 1859 before the two fog signals were added.  The configuration of the tower and keeper’s dwelling is remarkably similar. The current tower dates to 1835.  It replaced an earlier tower built by Jeremiah Berry in 1827.

Pemaquid Point

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse ca. 1859 (USCG photo)

Wooden Tower at Portland Breakwater


Plan of 1855 Portland Breakwater Light (National Archives)

Click on images to see a larger view. Like many of the early pier lights, the first tower built on the Portland, Maine, breakwater in 1855 was constructed of wood.  It was replaced in 1875 by the current cast iron tower.

Portland Breakwater Light ca. 1859 (USCG photo)

Portland Breakwater Light ca. 1859 (USCG photo)

20th Anniversary Edition of Women Who Kept the Lights

Women Cover

Announcing the Twentieth Anniversary Edition of Women Who Kept the Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers

Twenty years ago, Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford published Women Who Kept the Lights. With over 38,000 copies in print, they are delighted to introduce a third edition. Since the second edition, published in 2001, Candace has continued to gather lighthouse records in the National Archives, uncovering new material about women keepers and clarifying old. Because we feel strongly that the stories of these remarkable women should be as accurate and complete as possible, supplementary material on a number of women keepers has been added. Two completely new chapters are included: Georgia Stebbins at North Point Light Station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Josephine Freeman at Blackistone Island Light Station in Maryland. The chapter on Margaret Norvell at New Canal Light Station in Louisiana has been much expanded. A few of the sidebars have been revised. Several female keepers have been added to the Appendix and a few deleted after discovering they were either just assistants or served less than a year.

Women Who Kept the Lights, ISBN 978-0-9896043, contains 253 pages, 11 maps, 79 illustrations, an Appendix listing officially appointed women keepers, a bibliography, and an index. The list price is $22.95. The publication date is November 1, 2013. Quantity discounts are available. Distributed by Partners Book Distributing.