October 23, 2014

11 Unique Facts About New England Lighthouses



(Also try the questions at 11 Unique Facts About Lighthouses )

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 Lighthouses in New England…sounds very romantic, although the life of a keeper can be challenging. Recently, the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle was named the best lighthouse. I learned it does have one special feature: on Sundays from May to October you can climb the 44 steps to the Watch Room, then a ladder to the Lantern Room. This adventure will certainly be on my non-negotiable list of things to do in New England if we ever travel there again. After all, Portsmouth is where I spent my younger years.

But I digress. Below are 11 questions about New England lighthouses. Have fun!



  1. What was used for the first fog signal, installed at Little Brewsters Island Lighthouse?
  2. What horrifying event occurred at Minots Ledge Lighthouse (near Cohasset, Massachusetts) one of the first screw pile lighthouses?
  3. From what lighthouse do romantics interpret to signal “I love you?”
  4. What was a lighthouse keeper’s annual salary in 1879, which held steady well into the 20th century?
  5. In August 2013 the federal government closed out an auction for Boon Island Light Station, New England’s tallest lighthouse. What was the top bid for this lighthouse built in 1855 on a tiny rocky island six miles off Maine’s coast.
  6. Which New England lighthouse has traveled the furthest?
  7. Which lighthouse boasts an enormous first-order rotating Fresnel lens fitted with a green light?
  8. What happened to the first lighthouse keeper in America, George Worthylake?
  9. Name the most haunted New England lighthouse.
  10. What special item did Nubble Lighthouse keeper Eugene Coleman inherit from the previous keeper?
  11. What four unique facts describe the Boston Harbor Light?

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What four features describe the Boston Harbor Light?

To learn the answers click on MORE

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken from the boat

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken from the boat



  1. A cannon**
  2. On April 12, 1851, a rough storm toppled the lighthouse killing the two keepers in the process.  This light was replaced by a conical granite tower.****
  3. The 1-4-3 signal from Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse to say “I Love You”**
  4. Approximately $500 (worth about $12,000 today). *****
  5. $78,000^^^
  6. A photo of Cape Neddick (“the Nubble”) Light off York Beach, Maine, was among the other artifacts launched aboard the Voyager II spacecraft in 1977.^
  7. Southern Block Island Lighthouse, in Rhode Island, has an enormous First-Order Fresnel Lens fitted with a green light.**
  8. He met an untimely death in 1718, drowning along with his wife and daughter while returning to the Little Brewster Island Lighthouse .^^
  9. Seguin Island Light in Popham, Maine. In the mid-1800s, one keeper’s wife couldn’t stand living at this desolate station. To appease her, he arranged to buy a player piano. When it arrived, however, there was only one piece of music, and she played it over and over for hours at a time. Driven mad, the keeper strangled his wife and took an axe to the piano. Now witnesses say that at night they can hear a phantom piano playing from the lighthouse.^
  10. It’s said that he inherited the previous keeper’s large tabby cat–nearly 20 pounds’ worth of feline companionship. Known as Mr. T, the cat became a tourist attraction himself and was often spotted swimming to and from the mainland.*****


It was the first lighthouse in what is now the United States, built on Little Brewster Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor in 1716.

The British blew it up in 1776.

The replacement tower, dating to 1783, still functions as a navigation aid.

It is the only U.S. lighthouse that is still manned.*

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August 7th: A Celebration of Lighthouses Part A

Lighthouse Cruise on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island

Lighthouse Beach in Chatham on Cape Cod, MA



1 Comment »

  1. I admit…to knowing none of the answers to your questions. 🙂

    Comment by merry101 — October 24, 2014 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

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