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Historical Materials: Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids

Historical Materials  »  Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids  »  York, Maine – Boon Island Light

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.

photo (historical)
Boon Island Light
1891
Photograph
From The Illustrated Coast Pilot with sailing directions. The Coast of New England from New York to Eastport, Maine including Bays and Harbors, published by N. L. Stebbins.
photo (historical)
Boon Island Light
c.1860s
Photograph
From New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide.
Photography courtesy of : http://www.newenglandlighthouses.net
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Citation: "Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/historical_material/index.php?type=Flags%2C+Lighthouses%2C+%26+Navigation+Aids§ion=York%2C+Maine+%E2%80%93+Boon+Island+Light (accessed July 27, 2017).
Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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