Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Open Lighthouse Day!

Maine, as has been written about in this very space, is known for, at one time, having at least seventy lighthouses up and down the coast, in rivers and one in a lake! The lighthouse has been a part of Maine's character since at least 1794, when an array of these beacons in the night was begun to help sailors navigate the rocky and rugged Maine coastline. Built in 1910, the lighthouse at Whitlock's Mill  in Calais is the youngest of the bunch. Maine ranks third, behind Michigan and New York in total number of lighthouses, but leads the nation in number of them along the coast. Lighthouse continue to attract the attention of visitors from around the world to the Lighthouse State (the Official State Nickname is The Pine Tree State, but unofficially, it's The Lighthouse State) year in and year out. One month from today, on September 18, the US Coast Guard, the State of Maine and the American Lighthouse Foundation are holding an Open Lighthouse Day for everyone! Last year was the inaugural go round for Open Lighthouse Day and hundreds of Mainers took advantage of this unique opportunity. Tours will be conducted of each lighthouse on the list half way down this page. My birthday is a couple of days before this open lighthouse thing, I would love to take a tour of one. (Hint hint, Heather :)) If you visit a lighthouse near you, be sure to take your camera and some fresh batteries along and snap some photos as a visual reminder of this iconic figure in Maine's history.

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