Some 67 light stations with resident keepers were built to aid shipping along Maine’s rocky coastline between 1791, when the tower at Portland Head was lit, and 1910, when the last traditional lighthouse was established at Whitlock Mills. The rich maritime heritage of the United States is abundantly apparent in the history of Maine. Many settlers and later residents of Maine relied on the sea for their livelihood. Ships were vital to the fishing, granite, lime, lumber, and shipbuilding industries that thrived in Maine’s early coastal communities. Later, numerous steamships carried passengers in Maine’s growing tourist trade.
Maine Lighthouses: Documentation of Their Past differs from other books about Maine lights in being based almost entirely on primary sources. The authors combed the lighthouse collection in the National Archives for original records that describe how the site was selected, the construction of the tower and auxiliary buildings, the appointment of keepers, the damage to the station done by weather, and the repairs and reconstruction needed as the decades slid by. Log books tell us about the daily lives of keepers; correspondence with engineers and inspection reports detail the physical evolution of each station; and communication with Federal officials indicates how the Lighthouse Establishment was administered.
Published in 2005, the book is softcover, has 220 pages, 156 illustrations, endnotes, bibliography, and index.
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