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Name: Halfway Rock Light  

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Also known as: Half-Way Rock Light

Nearest Town or City:
South Harpswell, Maine, United States

Location: Casco Bay, 10 miles east of Portland Head.


Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont
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Notes:
The first keepers lived inside the lighthouse; in 1888 a boathouse with keeper's quarters was added. The other outbuildings have been destroyed in storms, and the marine railway was destroyed in a storm in October 1991. The lighthouse was licensed in 2000 to the American Lighthouse Foundation. The lighthouse was offered for adoption to non-profits including the American Lighthouse Foundation and all declined ownership. It was sold in late 2014 to a private individual for $283,000.

Tower Height: 76

Height of Focal Plane: 77

Characteristic and Range: Flashing red every five seconds.

Description of Tower: White conical granite tower with black cast iron lantern.

This light is operational

Date Established: 1871

Date Present Tower Built: 1871

Date Automated: 1975

Optics: 1871: Third order Fresnel lens (now at U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut); 1994: Vega VRB-25 solar powered optic.

Fog Signal: 1887: 43-foot pyramidal fog bell tower with 1,000 pound bell and striking apparatus; 1905: Daboll fog trumpet operated by diesel engines; now automated fog horn with two blasts every 30 seconds.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? No.

Directions:
Halfway Rock Light can be seen distantly from Land's End on Bailey Island. Take the Maine Turnpike North to Exit 9 (Brunswick, Bath, Boothbay, Coastal Region). Follow I-95 north and follow the signs to Brunswick/Bath. Tale Exit 22 and follow US Route 1 for four miles to Cook's Corner, ME 24 (Orr's and Bailey Islands). Follow ME 24 south for about 15 miles to its end at Land's End. There is a large parking area with a gift shop nearby. The lighthouse is best seen from the water. Sea Escape Charters and Cottages offers fishing and sightseeing charters and can take you close to Halfway Rock Light. Follow the above directions but watch for the Sea Escape Cottages sign on your right before you reach Land's End. For more information call (207) 833-5531 or email Les McNelly at seaesc@mail.gwi.net. It can also be seen very distantly from some of the cruises offered by Casco Bay Lines -- call (207) 774-7871 or see www.cascobaylines.com.

Keepers: Principal Keepers: John Sterling (1871-1883), George H. Toothacker (Toothaker?) (1883-1885), William T. Holbrook (1885-1890), Charles S. Williams (1890-1891), J. Harmon Stover (1891-1893), Parker O. Haley (1893-1900), Edmond Coffin (1900-1902), John B. Dewyea (1902-1921), Wesley Gray (1921-1934), Arthur S. Strout (1934-1939). Assistant Keepers: James Jones (1871-1872), Albert F. Purrington (1871-1872; 2nd asst, 1874-1881), Sylvanus E. Doyle (1872-1873), H. G. Cook Jr. (1872-1873), P.G. Drinkwater (2nd) (1873), George H. Toothacker (Toothaker?) (1873-1883), William T. Holbrook (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1881-1885), George H. Small (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1883-1885), James W. Sterling (2nd asst., then 1st asst.,1885-1887), Isaac W. Morrison (2nd asst., then 1st asst.,1886-1889), P. A. Dugan (2nd asst., 1887-1888), Eli M. Alexander (1st asst., 1888-1889), J. Harmon Stover (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1889-1891), Edmond Coffin (1889-1900), Oliver P. Burns (2nd asst., 1891), Edward H. Pierce (2nd asst., 1891-1892), John B. Dewyea (2nd asst., 1891-1902), Frank L. Peabbles (2nd asst., 1900-1902), W. S. Adams (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1902-1904), J. L. Dyer (2nd asst., 1902-1904), Giles H. Farley (1st asst., 1904-1907), William Henry Burns (1st asst., 1907-1912), LeRoy S. Elwell (2nd asst., 1904-1907), Harold Hutchins (2nd asst., 1907-1908), Thomas L. Godfrey (2nd asst., 1908), J. C. Morong (2nd asst., 1908-1909), A. S. Rollins (2nd asst., 1909-1910), Eugene W. Osgood (2nd asst., 1910-1912), Frank Philbrick (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1912-1913), A. J. Clinch (2nd asst., 1913), W. M. Larrabee (2nd asst., 1913-1914), F. E. Larrabee (1st asst., 1913-1916), Wesley Gray (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1914-1921), A. J. Griffin (2nd asst., 1916), William Foster Reed (2nd asst., 1916-1920), N. R. Murphy (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1920-1922), E. W. Murphy (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1921-1926), Martin Sabins (2nd asst., 1922-1923), Augustus S. Kelly (2nd asst., 1923-1926), Bernard A. Small (2nd asst., 1926), E. E. Moore (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1926-1929), A. R. Stevens (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1926-1929), Arthur S. Strout (2nd asst., then 1st asst., 1929-1934), C. J. Wheeler (2nd asst., 1929), H. A. Ball (2nd asst., 1929-1932), John L. PenDell (2nd asst., 1932-?), G. Duffy Brown (2nd asst., 1934-?). Coast Guard officers in charge: Arthur S. Strout (1939-1945), A. W.  McLaughlin (1945), Wilbur Brewster (1945-1948), Louis J. Nagy (1948-1949), Norman Goben (1949), Stephen F. Flood (1949-1950), H. N. Robinson (1950), John P. Sawasha (1950), William L. Lockhart (1950-1951), John L. Mason (1951-1952), James R. Seward (1952), Leon G. Lewis (1952-1953), Forrest S. Cheney (1953-1955), James R. Wilson (1955-1956), Harry L. Cressey (1956-1957), Michael A. Stern (1957-1958), James E. Murray (1958-1961 and 1963-1966), Leon E. Minzy (1961-1962). Other Coast Guard personnel: Julian Hatch (1950-1951), Kenneth Rouleau (c. 1960-1961), Horace A. Leverett ( c. 1966), Lawrence E. Johnson, Jr. (c. 1970s), Stephen Krikorian (c. 1970s), Ronald Handfield (c. 1970s), Ken Field (c. 1970s).

Nearby Lodging: Sea Escape Cottages and Charters, Donna & Les McNelly, P.O. Box 7, Bailey Island, ME 04003. Phone (207) 833-5531. Email: seaesc@mail.gwi.net Several cottages available, also a duplex and "penthouse." Fishing and sightseeing charters are available.

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