The passing of Ken Black, ‚ÄúMr. Lighthouse‚Äù, saddens us all. Many of you may have never heard of Ken or knew about the amazing way he lived his life, giving to others, and working diligently to preserve the history of lighthouses in this country. Here is a link to a website about Ken and his work, American Lighthouse Foundation
So today I focus on the history of one of my favorite lighthouses, Fort Point Light. This still active light is a state park that anyone can drive to and visit. Sailing to Fort Point Cove in a schooner is a trip in history. The currents in the river entrance can make it difficult place to get to or from. Fort Point guards the entrance to the Penobscot River and what, during the 1850s, was the lumber capital of the world, Bangor just 24 miles up stream. Imagine the mid-1800s with dozens of large sailing vessels waiting for a “chance along” anchored in the protected waters of Fort Point Cove. We sail to Fort Point Cove a couple times each summer and get ashore to visit with Terry and Jeri Cole, the ranger and his wife at the park. Terry was actually stationed at that light station during the 70s while he was in the Coast Guard. And like Ken Black, Terry is a joy to meet and hear his first hand stories of manning a light station. First established in 1836 and rebuilt in 1857 the lantern room still contains the 4th order Fresnel lense and the pyramidal bell tower still holds the bell making this one of the most complete light stations here in Maine. The earthwork remains of Fort Pownel are still visible in this very lovely place. See more info about Fort Point State Park
Thanks to Ted Panyatoff for his very useful notes and inspiration.