Famous Lights

Boon Island Lighthouse

The information contained in this section is taken verbatim from HISTORICALLY FAMOUS LIGHTHOUSES - CG-232. Although the format has been changed slightly for better reading and display. BJ 'n Cindy

President James Madison authorized the building of Boon Island Lighthouse during the War of 1812. A new lighthouse tower was erected near the old tower in 1855, consisting of a gray granite conical tower, 133 feet above the water, 6’2 miles off the coast of Maine.

As Boon Island is a very flat piece of land, well surrounded by ledges, the tower appears at times to be springing up from the sea from a submerged ledge, especially when low clouds are flying. One of the most isolated stations off the Maine coast, it is also one of the most dangerous.

One story is told of how the keepers were once marooned on the island for several weeks because of storms and rough weather. Their food supplies were low and starvation seemed to be staring them in the face. Just at the point of desperation a boat appeared and they signaled for help. The keeper’s message in a bottle was picked up by the passing schooner which hove to and anchored until the sea went down. Then the crew packed some food in a mackerel barrel and set it afloat. It drifted right into a little cove on the island and then the sea caught it and bounced it well up on the bank, out of the way of the surf. The hunger of the keepers was appeased until they were able to go ashore and get supplies at the village of York.

Today the fixed white electric light on Boon Island shows its 120,000 candlepower from a second-order lens for a distance of 18 miles. (6)