An online project under the direction of the CAPE ANN MUSEUM
Historical Materials: Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids
York, Maine – Boon Island Light
The Boon Island Light is situated on the small granite Boon Island, a few miles off the southern Maine coastline near York. An unlit wooden beacon was erected on Boon Island in 1799, followed by a stone beacon in 1805, and the island's first 32-foot-tall lighthouse was built in 1811. During the 1700s, shipwrecks on Boon Island were a regular occurence. On December 11, 1710 the "Nottingham Galley" wrecked on the island during a storm. The surviving sailors lived on the desolate island for weeks, eventually turning to cannibalism. Over a century later, storms still battered Boon Island. The Boon Island Light was destroyed by a massive storm in 1831, but was quickly rebuilt. The current 133-foot-tall granite lighthouse was erected decades later, between 1852-1854 and, in 1855, a second-order Fresnel lens was installed to increase the visibility of the light. Lane painted the Boon Island Light at least once and, given the island's remote location, it's likely that he didn't visit the island often.
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.