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Name: Bass Harbor Head Light   Map it!

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Also known as: Bass Harbor Light

Nearest Town or City:
Bass Harbor, Maine, United States

Location: Mount Desert Island, entrance to Bass Harbor, entrance to Blue Hill Bay.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont
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Managing Organization:
U.S. Coast Guard

On June 26, 2012 Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse became the second traditional lighthouse to appear on American money. The quarter is part of the U.S. Mint’s “America the Beautiful Quarters Program”, honoring our National Parks and Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse was chosen to honor Maine’s Acadia National Park.

Tower Height: 32

Height of Focal Plane: 56

Characteristic and Range: Red light occulting 4 every seconds, visible for 13 nautical miles. Lighted 24 hours.

Description of Tower: White brick cylindrical tower attached to keeper's house.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1858 1.5 story wood frame T-shape keeper's house, 1902 brick oil house, 1898 fog bell building.

Date Established: 1858

Date Present Tower Built: 1858

Date Automated: 1974

Optics: 1858: Fifth order Fresnel lens; 1902: Fourth order Fresnel lens (still in use).

Fog Signal: 1876: fog bell in pyramidal tower; 1898: 4,000 pound fog bell and striking mechanism in fog bell house.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation, Coast Guard housing.

Open To Public? Grounds only.

Follow ME 3 south from US Route 1 in Ellsworth onto Mount Desert Island. At the intersection with Route 198 (where Route 3 turns left to Bar Harbor), take Route 198 to its intersection with Route 102. Continue through Somesville and Southwest Harbor and on to Bass Harbor. You will come to a fork with a dirt road going straight ahead; the left fork is Route 102A. Take the dirt road straight ahead. Follow the signs to the lighthouse. There is limited free parking at the station and a trail leads to the rocks below for good views. Another trail leads next to the lighthouse. Island Cruises of Bass Harbor offers a variety of cruises; some pass Bass Harbor Head Light.

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: John Thurston (1858-1861); John Rick (1861-1865); John Wilson (1865-1869); Charles B. Gilley (1869-1872); James L. Wilson (1872-1880); C. F. Chase (1880-1890); William T. Holbrook (1890-1894); Willis Dolliver (1894-1921); Joseph M. Gray (1921-1938); Elmer Reed (1938-1940); Eugene L. Coleman (?); Elmer Reed (1938-1940); Leverett Stanley (1940-1950)


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