Friday, August 7, 2009

Portland Head Light, ME

Cape Elizabeth is the home of Portland Head Light. Situated along the spectacular shores of Fort Williams Park. The popular landmark is owned and managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.The Museum at Portland Head Light is contained within the former Keepers' Quarters. The award winning Museum contains a number of lighthouse lenses and interpretative displays. Also on the site is a seasonal shop featuring fine lighthouse and Maine related gifts.

The Portland Head Light which stands for those out on the open water, rays extend from the center Fresnel lens representing the sixteen points of the compass. The bottom two rays symbolize the lighthouse.

Fort Williams Park is open year round from sunrise to sunset. There is no admission fee. The lighthouse may be easily photographed from many areas within the park. Portland Head has long protected Portland and the adjacent area. Cape Elizabeth residents were deeply committed to American independence from British rule. In 1776, the new Town of Cape Elizabeth posted a guard of eight soldiers at Portland Head to warn citizens of coming British attacks.

By 1864 a 4th order Fresnel lens and a cast iron staircase were installed. By 1865, the tower was raised 20' and a 2nd order Fresnel lens was installed. A portion of this lens may now be seen at the Museum at Portland Head Light. Except for a period between 1883 and 1885, this lens was in the lighthouse until 1958.

The Museum at Portland Head Light is open daily from Memorial Day to the Friday following Columbus Day. From mid April to Memorial Day and from Columbus Day to just before Christmas the Museum is open weekends only. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The admission fee is $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children age 6-18. Children younger than 6 are free. The Gift Shop is open at all times when the Museum is open and is also open on weekends from November 1st to just before Christmas.

For further information:

Jeanne Gross, Museum Director


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