Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine

Date added: February 25, 2024 Categories: Maine Lighthouse
Light tower and entrance wing (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station was built in 1821 on the west side of the entrance to Boothbay Harbor. Its purpose was the guidance of ships, the carriers of cargo destined for the development of industry and commerce, into Boothbay Harbor approximately 1 ½ miles away. The mission and buildings are the same today.

In 1888, a dead angle was put into the lantern at Burnt Island Light to prevent ships from being wrecked on the rocks called the Cuckolds. About 1890 the light was changed from fixed white to fixed red with two white sectors covering the fairways into Boothbay Harbor. This made the dead angle unnecessary. Two years later, the light was changed to flashing red every five seconds with two white sectors to prevent confusion with the other lights near the entrance of Boothbay Harbor.

The lighthouse keepers; in addition to performing their routine duties, anticipated and prepared for malfunctions before they happened. This enabled the light to remain operational through all kinds of weather, guiding ships into safe harbor and preventing the loss of life and property. This is the true test of the capability of a light station.

Site Description

The Burnt Island Light Station consists of:

The Keepers Dwelling is two story with basement, wood frame construction, 34'X20' with 18' porch connected to light tower by covered way approximately 45" long built in 1821.

The Boathouse is one story, wood frame construction, 12 1/2'X25 1/2', built in 1821.

The Oil House is brick and slate construction, 10'X10', built in 1821.

The Light Tower is fieldstone, brick and cement construction, painted white, conical form, 15' diameter at the base, 9'9" diameter at the parapet, 61 feet above mean high water. The details of light are 375 mm fresnel classical lens, 1000 watt lamp, characteristic is a flashing red, two white sectors every six seconds; 2 one second flash. The red sector has 2380 candle-power with a twelve-mile range; the white sector has a 10,800 candle power with a range of 15 miles. There is an FA 232 Fog Signal whose range is 1/2 a mile. The characteristic of the fog signal is a one-second blast every ten seconds. The tower was built in 1821.

The following is a description of Burnt Island Light as it was in the year 1909:

The characteristic of the light was flashing red with a flashing white sector. Tower was built in 1821, the shape of the tower was circular, form conical, height from base to ventilator ball of lantern 30 feet, height of local plane above mean high water was 61 feet, color was white, built of stone, the diameter of the tower at the base, was 15 feet.

The fourth order lantern was polygonal, diameter 6'9", number of sides ten, vertical bars, height three feet.

Illuminating apparatus was made by Barbier, Benard & Turenne; Paris, France. It was fourth order, inside diameter 24" square.

Characteristic of light was flash every 5 seconds, time of revolution, 20 seconds, intervals between flashes, five seconds, duration of flash one second, number of panels in lens was four, four flash panels are 90 degrees, one element in each panel of central drum of lens, four bullseyes with five rings outside center piece. Flashes are produced by the whole apparatus revolving by clock work.

Fog signal was a fog bell striking machine made by Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company, New York in 1895; strikes a double blow every minute. The diameter of bell was three feet one inch, height is two feet three inches, housed in white, pyramidal bell tower.

The dwelling was wood frame construction, seven rooms, painted white with lead covered trimmings and two outhouses. The water was supplied by rain water from roof of dwelling to a brick, 4000 gallon cistern in the cellar of the dwelling.

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine  (1975)
(1975)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Light tower (1991)
Light tower (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Keeper's house, covered way and light tower (1991)
Keeper's house, covered way and light tower (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Shed, light tower and keeper's house (1991)
Shed, light tower and keeper's house (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Tower entrance wing, covered way, keeper's house and shed (1991)
Tower entrance wing, covered way, keeper's house and shed (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Light tower and entrance wing (1991)
Light tower and entrance wing (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Entrance wing and light tower (1991)
Entrance wing and light tower (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Light tower, stairs (1991)
Light tower, stairs (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Oil house (1991)
Oil house (1991)

Burnt Island Light Station, Pine Cliff Maine Boathouse (1991)
Boathouse (1991)