An online project under the direction of the CAPE ANN MUSEUM
Historical Materials: Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids
Northeast Harbor, Maine – Bear Island Lighthouse
The Bear Island Lighthouse is situated at the entrance to Somes Sound on Bear Island, about 1,200 feet from Northeast Harbor, Maine. Construction began on the first Bear Island Lighthouse starting in May of 1838, and was first opened in 1839. Engineer, I.W.P Lewis, found the wooden lighthouse to be "weak and defective" in his 1843 inspection report, but the Bear Island Lighthouse wasn't rebuilt until 1854 after a large fire in 1852 destroyed parts of the original structure. During the remodeling, a round brick tower was added to the structure, but it's thought that much of the first building was saved. The Bear Island Lighthouse was painted at least once by Lane during a visit to the region in 1855.
This information has been shared with the Lane project by Jeremy D'Entremont. More information can be found at his website, www.newenglandlighthouses.net and The Lighthouse Handbook New England.