West Quoddy Head Lighthouse – Quoddy Head State Park

Further adventuring on our last day of vacation had us driving way way up North to Lubec, Maine which is about as far North as you can drive before crossing the border into Canada.

Our next stop was West Quoddy Head Lighthouse.

A little history in case you are interested….

Originally built in 1808, by order of President Thomas Jefferson, the original wooden tower was replaced by the current tower which became operational in 1858.  The red and white tower is the only “candy striped” tower in the United States.  The Tower is 49 feet tall, with a 16 foot diameter base.  The center of the lantern stands 83 feet above sea level.  The 1000 watt bulb is filtered through a 5.5 foot tall fresnel lens from France, which along with the 50 step circular iron staircase to the top of the tower was installed in 1857. The light was fully automated in 1988, Maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard today. Previously the lamp was illuminated with sperm whale oil, lard oil and finally kerosene and electricity in 1932.  The light flashes in a pattern 24 hours a day. 2 seconds on, 2 off, 2 on, and 9 seconds off. Although there are brutal storms that rage along this rustic coastline, the lighthouse has withstood them all for over a century and a half.  In 2004 the copper dome was replaced due to hail pocking. 8 red stripes alternate with 7 white stripes on the tower.  The strips are about 25 inches wide each.The visitor’s center currently occupies the lightkeeper’s house where several generations of lightkeepers lived with their families.  With full automation of the light there is no longer a lightkeeper in residence, although a park ranger often occupies the apartment on the second floor of the house.

On a personal note, it was one of my mother’s favorite places to visit and this was my first time ever seeing it in person.

Very very cool. Lots of fascinating history type stuff inside.

After we checked it out we decided to venture down one os the trails of Quoddy Head State Park in search of a geocache (more about that in future posts I promise) and to let the kids climb over the giant rocks along the coastline.

I am completely positive that they never wanted to leave this place.

The farther down the trail we walked, the more gorgeous the views.

We could have spent several days here climbing over the rocks, looking for sea creatures in the tidepools, collecting smooth stones and staring out at that ocean.

Until the next adventure……..

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