This is the scene that inspired Jud Caswell's song "Pemaquid Sunset." We were able to view it, with the aid of zoom lenses, from the beach near Land’s End Gift Shop at the tip of Bailey Island in Harpswell. The third floor was a shared bedroom for the assistant keepers. Near Harpswell, Maine. president and historian of the American Lighthouse Foundation, author, and tour guide, A Granite Ledge 9.5 Nautical Miles East of Portland, Maine. History of the Halfway Rock Lighthouse. The inspector convinced Toothaker to resign, at which time Holbrook was promoted to principal keeper. After automation, and over time, storms have destroyed the other structures that once stood on the island. Visit the Lighthouse; Web Cam; Support the Lighthouse. The camera is very fast (30 frames per second) and with a good internet connection you should be able to see near motion picture quality images. Rather than give up, Reiche purchased a 25-foot Safe Boats International Defender-class vessel from a Coast Guard auction. It took a day.". Halfway Rock Lighthouse was automated in 1975, and a modern, solar-powered optic replaced the Fresnel lens, which was subsequently placed on display at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. One keeper, Ken Rouleau happened across a seagull with an injured wing. During March 1871, Congress appropriated $10,000, which allowed construction of the tower to resume, however, there was now a labor shortage which delayed the project. He has already damaged two small skiffs and their motors beyond repair. Reiche plans to restore the Halfway Rock Lighthouse and attached wooden boathouse to what they were like in the 1950s. The picture you see is a real time, live image. Despite numerous documents and shipwrecks, no action was taken until 1868 when an entry appeared in the Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the Finances for the Year 1868 stating that an estimate of appropriation was submitted to Congress during its last session, but no appropriation was made. Lighthouses Sightseeing; Halfway Rock; add bookmark . If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. buildings empty except for large accumulation of debris. Click here for a gallery of Halfway Rock Light photos on SmugMug (prints and gift items available) Location: Casco Bay, eastern approach to Portland Harbor As there was no dwelling on the island, the keepers had to live in the tower. Today, all that is left is the tower and the two-story boat house. The Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board documented it: In 1888, a new, two-story, 18-by-24-foot boathouse was built. We admired all that we could see of it; we disliked nothing. Halfway Rock . The last civilian keeper was Arthur Strout, a descendant of the Strout Family, keepers associated with the Portland Head Lighthouse. Be sure to check back for more angles! Zoom -Use the vertical bar on the far right However, the connection is completely dependent on your internet speed. - Aerial view of the Halfway Rock Lighthouse. Enjoy a view from the north face of the lighthouse looking down the breakwater toward land. The first mention of marking the hazard came on May 9, 1837 when Captain Joseph Smith, U.S. Navy, had recommended the construction of a stone day mark as the ledge was hard to discern during foggy weather. "Cumberland man works to restore his own private lighthouse," Tux Turkel. In 2000, the station was leased to the American Lighthouse Foundation, which faced the daunting task of restoring a lighthouse with such limited access. But if it washes away, we'll build a new one. After being crated up, the lens was transported aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle to the academy in New London, Connecticut, where it eventually was placed on display at the museum. The rest of the crew sought refuge behind the ledges on the island, until their rescue the next morning. At that point, the material and machinery were removed from the island and stored. One such keeper, George A. Toothaker, became the first assistant in 1873, a position he held until 1883. To ensure it wouldn't be washed away, it was both bolted to the ledge, as well as to the tower. We're friendly out here, and look forward to your visit! Halfway Rock Lighthouse. It was accessible only by watercraft. In 1875 an assistant keeper wrote of Halfway Rock Lighthouse: “This dangerous rock so long the terror of seamen . It was named for being roughly the midpoint on the Bay between Cape Elizabeth (to the south) and Cape Small Point (to the north). All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. The camera is normally pointed a little west of due south and overlooks the town of Bristol's Lighthouse Park and the Gulf of Maine beyond. It was named for being roughly the midpoint on the Bay between Cape. There's no way it could have been built stronger. Bravo! Captain John T. Sterling was hired as the station's first keeper. His title was Officer in Charge of Halfway Rock, a position he held until 1945. There would be weeks at a time when Toothaker wouldn't speak to his assistant, William T. Holbrook. Enjoy the view of the Eagle Cap mountains and check the traffic in downtown Halfway. water leaking through all stories of both buildings. Today, a modern, solar-powered optic provides the light. The boathouse was completed in 1872, but no fog signal would be established until 1887. Move camera – Click anywhere in the image and the camera will center on that position. more. The inspector agreed, stating that Toothaker had "a natural tendency to insanity, which his lonely life on the Rock had aggravated.". Two keepers were on duty at all times, the third would be on shore leave. Please choose a different date. In July 1869, a work crew arrived at the island and started the process of leveling the rough rock surface for the tower's foundation. On a small ledge nearly ten miles offshore from Portland, Maine, stands the Halfway Rock Lighthouse. We're friendly out here, and look forward to your visit! The lighthouse was continuously staffed for 105 years, until 1975, when it was automated by the Coast Guard. Like the many keepers of the Halfway Rock Lighthouse before him, Reiche discovered how difficult getting to the tower is. Even after being gone for years, Toothaker said he would still wake out of a deep sleep, worrying that the light had gone out. On a small ledge nearly ten miles offshore from Portland, Maine, stands the Halfway Rock Lighthouse. During storms, the Atlantic Ocean would rise up and consume the island. On May 16, 2012, the Halfway Rock Lighthouse was made available by the General Services Administration under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. He cared for the bird and nursing it back to health. Perched midway across the mouth of Casco Bay on a barren ledge of two acres, Halfway Rock Light Station is a remote, wave-swept beacon, nearly inaccessible and totally exposed to the ravages of Mother Nature. Keepers found ways to keep busy. ", Halfway Rock Lighthouse (Courtesy Coast Guard), There were two separate occasions that Toothaker suddenly abandoned his post, and rowed to his home in Harpswell, Maine, a distance of nine miles. By summer 1871, the 76-foot granite tower was nearly complete. Granite was quarried from Chebeague Island and then prepared at Fort Scammel in Portland. . He chose the latter, and became the first Coast Guard keeper to serve at the Halfway Rock Lighthouse. The camera can view from the East End Point on Chebeague Island almost to the lighthouse on Halfway Rock. Reiche was the co-founder of Safe Handling, a transportation logistics company, which he has since sold. with us here. If you know of any historical images or stories, please let us know how we might share them. The only ways to view this lighthouse are via boat or air. After that, the blocks were sent to Halfway Rock. Due to the frequent storms that inundated the island, it had to be raised up. And the fourth floor, just below the lantern, was a watch room, where the keeper on duty would remain throughout the night. Known as a “stag lighthouse”, because it was deemed too dangerous for women and families, it has been written that “offshore lighthouses are among the most dangerous and forlorn places on Earth.”. We are closed for the season and plan to reopen May 2021, Copyright 2020 | Chebeague Island Boat Yard. "Ken Rouleau's Year at Halfway Rock," Jeremy D'Entremont. When no entity came forward, the American Lighthouse Foundation, in May 2000, licensed the tower from the Coast Guard. No content may be used without written permission. Most of the summer of 2015 was spent rebuilding the 150-foot boat dock and ramp. To that, he says "I have a healthy attitude about that dock. That same year, the Lighthouse Board had recommended the construction of a masonry boathouse and fog signal. A resource for history, restoration information, news and access to the Halfway Rock Lighthouse live camera. Another wave swept lighthouse that you can visit virtually, is Halfway Rock Lighthouse, which sits approximately 9 miles off of Portland. Grounds / tower closed. He then describes the adventure of restoring the property, with compelling “before and after” photos.

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