Two ‘open houses’ highlight specific lighthouses this summer

Grindle Point Lighthouse, located next to the Maine State Ferry Service terminal on Islesboro, will be open to public visitation during the June 22-23 Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge. The lighthouse, which guards the approaches to Gilkey’s Harbor, is owned by the Town of Islesboro. The Sailor’s Memorial Museum is located in the lightkeeper’s cottage.
Grindle Point Lighthouse, located next to the Maine State Ferry Service terminal on Islesboro, will be open to public visitation during the June 22-23 Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge. The lighthouse, which guards the approaches to Gilkey’s Harbor, is owned by the Town of Islesboro. The Sailor’s Memorial Museum is located in the lightkeeper’s cottage.
Posted June 13, 2012, at 10:14 a.m.

Lighthouse aficionados will have two opportunities to see lighthouses “up close and personal” this summer as the Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge and the Fourth Annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day highlight these historic sentinels by the sea.

Sixty-five lighthouses dot the Maine coast from Kittery to Calais. Others existed decades ago, but succumbed to disuse or the weather. Unlike Canadian lighthouses with their mandated red-and-white paint schemes, Maine lighthouses express individualistic identities, from the tall tower at Portland Breakwater Lighthouse to the barber-pole paint scheme at West Quoddy Head State Park.

People can visit many lighthouses at any time, but only a few preservation societies open specific lighthouses to public tours each summer; among such lighthouses are Spring Point Ledge Light in South Portland, Rockland Breakwater Light in Rockland, and Grindle Point Light on Islesboro.

During the June 23-24 Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge, visitors can actually climb the towers of seven lighthouses:

• Dyce Head Lighthouse, located at the end of Battle Avenue in Castine;

• Fort Point Lighthouse, located at Fort Point State Park in Stockton Springs;

• Grindle Point Lighthouse, located next to the Maine State Ferry Service terminal on Islesboro;

• Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, located in Rockland;

• Owls Head Lighthouse, located at Owls Head State Park in Owls Head;

• Marshall Point Lighthouse, located in Port Clyde;

• Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, located in Bristol on the Pemaquid Peninsula.

Each lighthouse will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, June 22-23. People who visit all seven lighthouses during the weekend will have their names entered in a drawing for a two-night stay at a Rockland inn.

For more information about the Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge, log onto www.rocklandharborlights.org.

The Fourth Annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15. The American Lighthouse Foundation, the Coast Guard, and the state sponsor this popular event, which will see 24 lighthouses made accessible to the public. Visitors must provide their own transportation to these lighthouses; some are located offshore.

The lighthouses that will be open on Sept. 15 are:

• Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Bass Harbor;

• Browns Head Lighthouse, Vinalhaven (offshore);

• Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse, Swans Island (offshore);

• Burnt Island Lighthouse, Boothbay Harbor (offshore);

• Curtis Island Lighthouse, Camden Harbor (offshore);

• Deer Island Thorofare Lighthouse, Mark Island near Stonington (offshore);

• Doubling Point Lighthouse, Arrowsic;

• Dyce Head Lighthouse, Castine;

• Fort Point Lighthouse, Cape Jellison near Stockton Springs;

• Grindle Point Lighthouse, Islesboro (offshore);

• Kennebec River Range Lights, two small towers located in Arrowsic just downriver from Doubling Point Lighthouse;

• Little River Lighthouse, Cutler Harbor (offshore), open 12 noon-3 p.m.;

• Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde;

• Monhegan Island Lighthouse, Monhegan Island (offshore), open 11 a..m-4 p.m.;

• Owls Head Lighthouse, Owls Head;

• Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Bristol;

• Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light), South Portland;

• Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth;

• Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Rockland;

• Seguin Island Lighthouse, off Popham Beach (offshore), open 11 a.m.-2 p.m.;

• Spring Point Lighthouse, South Portland;

• Squirrel Point Lighthouse, Arrowsic, accessible by a 15-20-minute hike through woods and across a salt marsh;

• West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Lubec;

• Wood Island Lighthouse, Biddeford Pool (offshore).

For more information about the Fourth Annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day, log onto:

• http://www.facebook.com/MaineOpenLighthouseDay;

• http://www.visitmaine.com/attractions/sightseeing_tours/lighthouse/lighthouse-day/.

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