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Maine Lighthouses: Pemaquid Point

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Pemaquid point was settled in the 1600s: "When Bartholomew Gosnold sailed to Pemaquid in 1602, the area was already a port of call for French, Portuguese, Spanish and English fishermen and the occasional coastal trader. Still, it was bit surprising to see Native Americans in western garb board the Dartsmouth and greet Gosnold in English."

Maine became a state in 1820, and in 1826 the Pemaquid point lighthouse was authorized by legislative act. The first tower lasted only 8 years - apparently because salt water was used in the mortar - and had to be rebuilt. The second tower is the one we see today.

Often confused in pictures with the Portland Head lighthouse, Pemaquid Point can be distinguished by its "obelisk", a pyramidal wooden tower built in 1898 next to the brick bell house to house the weights for the striking mechanism. In 1940, the town bought the lighthouse property sans tower, and created Bristol's Lighthouse Park; an art gallery was added in 1960, and the keeper's house became The Fisherman's Museum in 1972.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse was the first land-based lighthouse in Maine to be opened to the public, and is depicted on the Maine edition of U.S. state-based quarters. It was the subject of Edward Hopper's 1929 watercolor "Pemaquid Light", and is one of Maine's most visited and photographed lighthouses. For more information, see


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That's a great picture. I love lighthouses. And thanks for all the information!