Sunset, Marshall Point Lighthouse
Port Clyde, Maine.
Marshall Point Lighthouse:
The first lighthouse at Marshall Point, made of rubblestone, was built in 1832. John Watts became the first Keeper. The round tower, made of the same material, was 20 feet high, 17 feet in diameter at the base, and 9 feet at the top. The base was 3 feet thick and the top 2 feet. The base of the lantern was made of soapstone, 4 inches thick. The “light” consisted of 7 separate lard oil lamps, each with a 14 inch reflector, 4 in one row, and 3 directly above. They all pointed out to sea. The cost of the tower and Keeper's house was $2,973.17
In 1858 a new tower was built at its present site, at water's edge. It is 24 feet from base to light level. The first 12 feet are made of granite and the remaining 12 are brick. The lantern is cast iron and contains the light, which is 29½ feet above sea level. The ball on top is called a ventilator ball, made of cast iron. Above it is a lightning conductor spindle. A Fresnel lens replaced the 7 lamps. It is classified as a 5th order light and is white and fixed (not flashing). The cost of the new tower was $5,000.
In 1898 a bell tower with a bronze bell attached on the outside was added. The bell weighed 1,018 pounds and was 36 inches in diameter. Inside the tower was a weight mechanism (something like a grandfathers clock) with a hammer through the tower wall. A winding would last 4½ hours and the bell was struck by the hammer every 20 seconds. A weather mast displaying signals was constructed by the U. S. Weather Bureau at that time, and a telephone was also put into service. In 1969 the bell was replaced by a fog horn and the bell tower was dismantled.
The Light was electrified by 1935, with a kerosene oil wick lamp for standby. In 1971 the Light was automated and no longer required a lightkeeper. The Fresnel lens has been removed. The present light comes from a tiny bulb encased in a plastic lens. Batteries provide a back-up electrical power source.
Village of Port Clyde
Port Clyde is a village in the town of St. George and is located at the southern end of the St. George peninsula, approximately 15 miles from US Route 1. Within the village there are seasonal restaurants (Harpoon, Dip Net, Ocean House), the General Store, Village Ice Cream, and numerous galleries. A post office, an inn (0cean House) and ferry service to Monhegan are available. A gift shop can be found within the ferry office where one can also obtain information on the ferry schedule (207-372-8848).
The village is a short walk from the Marshall Point Lighthouse.