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Historical Materials: Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids

Historical Materials  »  Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids  »  Rockland Harbor, Maine – Owl's Head Light

Rockland Harbor, Maine – Owl's Head Light

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The Owl's Head Light is situated at the entrance to Rockland Harbor, Maine and overlooks the western Penobscot Bay. The first Owl's Head Light was built in 1825 to guide vessels partaking in the area's growing lime trade. After receiving approval from President John Quincy Adams, a thirty-foot tower was built atop a soaring promontory. In its early years the Owl's Head Light was decrepit. Seven years after its completion, repairs were already being made and a I.W.P Lewis inspection report from 1843 noted that the entire complex was "in a filthy state" and in desperate need of attention. A round brick tower was finally built in 1852 and a new keeper's house followed soon after in 1854. Two years later, in 1856, the current fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed, replacing the original lens. 

This information has been shared with the Lane Project by Jeremy D'Entremont. More information can be found at his website, or The Lighthouse Handbook New England.

Related tables: Owl's Head »

Dorothy Little Stevens to F. H. Lane, Castine, 10.16.1851
Dorothy Little Stevens
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, Mass.

Thanks for "View of Owl's Head", a moonlight scene:  "Mr. Lane, Dear Sir, when I expressed to you, during your visit to us, the last summer, my admiration of moonlight scenes, I did not for a moment suppose that I should ever become the possessor of one, and that so beautiful as "The View of Owls Head," which you have so kindly, and in so delicate a manner presented to me, and for which, I now beg you to accept my heartfelt thanks, also, be assured, if your pleasure in giving has been half equal to mine in receiving, you have been amply repaid for your kindness, and I alone, am the debtor. . . ."

photo (historical)
Owl's Head Light
National Archives
Photography courtesy of
Owl's Head Light (Rockland, Maine)
Obpacher Brothers
Library of Congress LC-USZ62-39504

Print, possibly a postcard, showing a lighthouse on the cliff above men fishing from the rocky coast at Owl's Head, Maine.


Citation: "Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum.§ion=Rockland+Harbor%2C+Maine+%E2%80%93+Owl%27s+Head+Light (accessed June 23, 2024).
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