Monday, August 7, 2017

Mid Coast Maine Lighthouses

Three Mid Coast Maine Lighthouses

In the 1800's the mid coast of Maine was a thriving economy for limestone, ship building and fishing.  The harbors in the area were bustling with business and a need for lighthouses arose.

On a visit in June 2017 we stopped at three of these lighthouses.

Marshall Point Lighthouse

In the photo at the top you see Marshall Point Lighthouse which stands in the harbor near the town of Port Clyde.  It is a very picturesque lighthouse and was fun to visit and photograph.  The long gangplank leading up to the lighthouse was seen in the movie Forest Gump.  You can read more about the lighthouse and Port Clyde in this article Review of Port Clyde

Owls Head Lighthouse

Owls Head lighthouse is located at the eastern edge of Rockland Harbor.  It sits high on a bluff and is a rather short, squatty looking lighthouse.  Stop by the article on Review This to read more about Owls Head Lighthouse.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

The third lighthouse we visited was Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.  It sits at the end of a 7/8  mile long granite breakwater that guards Rockland harbor.  This lighthouse is 25 feet tall and was first placed in service in 1902.  It still serves as a US Coast Guard navigational aid.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Lighthouse Photos- Using Guide Book

Photographing  Lighthouses

I am an avid photographer and photographing lighthouses is one of my favorite retirement activities.  When I travel to a new area I want to make sure that I find the best places to photograph and the best vantage points from which to photograph.

I have found that the best way to make sure I accomplish my goal is to look at photographs from other photographers that have been to the area.  In the photograph below, I captured this lighthouse off the coast of Maine.  I had seen the photo in a guidebook and I went off to capture the lighthouse from the same point of view.  I found it in the section of the book from the Boothbay area of Maine and I was really fortunate to find that there was a little boat docked in the foreground that I could get in my photo.

The link below shows the guidebook that I used on our trip to Maine.  I found it very helpful in finding places to photograph and in supplying directions to get to each of the locations.  The book is divided into  sections on each area of the Maine coast.  It is easy to follow and full of great photographs.

Here is another photograph I took after following the directions in the guidebook to arrive at Pemaquid Point  Lighthouse.  I love the rock formations leading up to the lighthouse.

To see more about my travels to Maine stop by my blog post at Review This.
Photographing BoothBay Harbor Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Old Fort Niagara Lighthouse

Old Fort Niagara Lighthouse

On a recent trip out east we made a stop at Old Fort Niagara lighthouse.  This lighthouse is located about 15 miles north of Niagara Falls in New York State.  It is on the Niagara River at the south shore of Lake Ontario.  We found the lighthouse on the edge of the parking lot of what is now the Visitors Center for Old Fort Niagara.

The original lighthouse on the site was constructed in 1782 on top of the "French Castle"  In 1872 the current lighthouse was established.  It is octagonal in shape and has a black lantern.  It is constructed of limestone and I found it to be one of the most attractive lighthouses I have visited.
Here is a view of Old Fort Niagara that spans a history of more than 300 years.  At different times in the history of the fort it was held by the French, the British and the USA.  The last armed conflict at the fort was the War of 1812. It was used as a training center for American soldiers throughout both World Wars.  The last army units were withdrawn in 1963.  Today it is held by the Coast Guard.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fairport Harbor Ohio

First View of Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Lighthouse

We were taking a trip out east and on the way I wanted to stop at a few lighthouses along the way.  The first stop was for the Fairport Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse and we followed the directions that led us to a park along Lake Erie.  The lighthouse was not visible from the park, so I took a trail that led through the dunes and was rewarded with the beautiful sight of the lighthouse as seen in the photo above.  It is a square building with the light tower along the far side.  The lighthouse was constructed in 1925 and is currently undergoing a major makeover.

The photo below is one I took from the beach. I like the way the driftwood in the foreground leads your eye up to the lighthouse.

Here is another view of the lighthouse taken from the other side.  We got to it by driving to the little town of Fairport Harbor where the original lighthouse sits.

Below you see the original lighthouse in Fairport Harbor.
It was first put into use in 1825 and was used until the lighthouse
above was  put into use in 1925.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pemaquid Lighthouse

Pemaquid Lighthouse Maine

Visiting the Lighthouse

I had seen beautiful photos of the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point and was anxious to try my hand at photographing the lighthouse and the shoreline with the beautiful rocks.  We drove north on Hwy 1 in Maine until we reached the town of Damariscotta.  We then took hwy 130 till we reached the end of the point and Pemaquid Lighthouse.

When we first reached the point the fog was very thick, but I got out of the car and started to explore the grounds.  There were lots of beautiful flowers, an art gallery, a fisherman museum, and beautiful scenery in addition to the lighthouse and keepers house.  It is one of the nicest lighthouse areas I have encountered on my quest to photograph lighthouses.  After my exploring the fog began to lift and I captured the lighthouse from various angles.

The Lighthouse as Seen from the Rocks

One of the great features of Pemaquid Point is the beautiful rock formations.  Leading up to the lighthouse is a "frozen wave" rock formation that reaches down to the end of the point.  I had seen the photos and wanted to capture the rocks leading up to the lighthouse.  What I didn't realize is that the only way to capture that look was for me to climb down the hill on the rocks.  I stood and looked at it for a bit and then decided to go for it.  It was definately worth the climb.  There were lots of little flowers blooming in the cracks of the rocks and the entire scene was wonderful.  The climb was a little scary at first, but then it was not really too hard.

The Lighthouse Structure

The lighthouse stands 30 feet above the ground and 79 feet above sea level.  In clear weather the light can be seen for 14 nautical miles.  The white light flashes every 6 seconds and automatically turns on and off at dusk and dawn.  Winding stairs take you to the top of the lighthouse which is open to visitors.

Stop by my Zazzle store for a wide array of Lighthouse gifts.  Lighthouse Gifts and Photos

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bodie Island Lighthouse

A Photographers View of Bodie Island Light

In my quest to photograph lighthouses, my husband and I traveled to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I had seen photos of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse but was unfamiliar with the other lights that guided mariners along the Outer Banks.
The first lighthouse we visited was on Bodie Island at the north end of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. We arrived on a clear August evening so we decided to head straight to the nearest lighthouse. The early evening light was perfect for photographing and I enjoyed walking around the lighthouse and capturing the views from various angles.
The lighthouse was not open to climb, but there was a small museum operated by the National Park Service in the old keeper's house.
I hope you enjoy my photos!

Bodie Island on Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras National Seashore was the first national seashore in the country. It extends 70 miles from south Nags Head to Ocracoke Island. It covers 30,000 acres.
There are many historic and recreational sites along the seashore. I was particularly interested in the three lighthouses that are located on this national seashore. 

A Bit of History

Bodie Island Lighthouse (pronounced body) is located on the North Carolina Outer Banks just south of Nags Head. Like many of the lighthouses along the coast, this is not the first lighthouse on Bodie.
The first lighthouse built in 1847 was abandoned 12 years later due to it's poor foundation. A second lighthouse was built in 1859 but it was blown up in 1861 by the Confederate troops who were afraid that it would give the Union an advantage in navigation.
The lighthouse we see today was built in 1872 and is near the northern border of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Poster in Bodie Lighthouse Museum

View from Museum Porch

Bodie Island Lighthouse view from Museum Porch
Bodie Island Lighthouse view from Museum Porch
View from Hwy 12 in evening
View from Hwy 12 in evening

Looking through the Porch Slats

I am always on the lookout for interesting perspectives of a lighthouse. When we visited Bodie Island I walked all around the lighthouse looking for the best views. I tried some close up and some from distances. I liked this interesting perspective taken through the slats of the back porch of the museum.

A Close Up Shot

Close Up shots become a bit tricky when we are talking about a tall, thin structure. I took this photo from the road leading up to the lighthouse using my zoom lens.

Lighthouses of the Outer Banks

Here is a postcard I made of lighthouses I photographed in the Outer Banks.
Lighthouses of the Outer Banks Postcard
Lighthouses of the Outer Banks Postcard by lighthouseenthusiast
Check out other North carolina lighthouses Postcards at

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Visit Georgia's Beautiful Lighthouses

Visit These Historic Beacons

I love lighthouses and on a recent trip to the Georgia coast we went on a quest to photograph each lighthouse. I was pleasantly surprised to find several unique lighthouses near the area where we were staying. After further research, not only did I find unique lighthouses but lighthouses that had interesting historic stories. Some lighthouses survived the civil war and others were rebuilt after the war.

One unique lighthouse has a legend of the "waving girl" who greeted vessels for over 46 years. In all I was able to photograph four different Georgia lights and this lens will detail my visit to each of these lights.
photographs by Mary Beth Granger

Tybee Island

State's Oldest Lighthouse

The lighthouse at Tybee Island is Georgias oldest and tallest lighthouse.
The lighthouse is located several blocks off the northern end of Tybee Island. We drove around it several times looking for the right angle to photograph the lighthouse without getting all of the wires and other buildings in the photos. It is a stately looking black and white lighthouse that appears to be very well maintained.
The lighthouse and towers at Tybee Island have had a lot of bad luck over the years. The first tower was built off Tybee in 1733, but it soon collapsed in a storm. The second tower's life was cut short by encroaching seas and a third tower was constructed in 1773. At first these towers only helped navigation in the daylight, since they were not lit. The third tower was lit in 1790. In 1862 the Confederate forces torched the lighthouse to prevent the Union troops from using it. In 1886 a rare earthquake badly damaged the lighthouse. In 1867 the lighthouse was reconstructed using the 1773 structure as a base. It's First Order Fresnel Lens is still in use today.
The lighthouse has undergone several reconstructions during modern times making it one of the best maintained lighthouses in the United States. You can read more of the interesting history of the Tybee lighthouse in the link below under Great Links on Georgia Lighthouses.

Savannah's Old Harbor Light

Guiding Ships through Savannah River

I had read about a light in Savannah harbor that appeared to be more of a giant streetlight than a lighthouse, so I was anxious to see it.
We were driving in downtown Savannah and I was describing the light to my husband while we were at a stoplight. I remembered it was on Bay street and just then I looked up and saw what I thought might be the light. My husband wasn't so sure, but he pulled into the park where it stood and sure enough it was the historic Savannah harbor light.
It is a beacon light that was erected in 1858 to aid in navigation on the Savannah river. It stands 77 feet above the river level and was illuminated by gas. It is a dark green metal and does look like an old fashioned street lamp. I was able to get several photographs of the light. The setting was perfect with the moss hanging off the trees. It seems to fit so well with the character of Savannah.

Cockspur Island

Waving Girl Legend

The lighthouse at Cockspur Island marks the entrance to the south channel of the Savannah River. Cockspur Island is just off the coast from Fort Pulaski and can be seen on the drive between Savannah, GA and Tybee Island.
I could see the lighthouse from the bridge but was uncertain how I would get a good photograph. After some searching we found a small road that led back to an area where I could put on my telephoto lens and capture some great shots of this historic lighthouse.
The first lighthouse was built at Cockspur in 1736 and the current light was built in 1857. Although the lighthouse was right in the midst of a civil war battle it was able to survive the war. Lighthouse Friends details the history of the lighthouse and information on the lighthouse keepers over the years.
One interesting legend of the lighthouse is called the "waving girl". In the legend the lighthouse keepers sister greeted vessels passing the lighthouse with a wave of her handkerchief during the day and by waving the lantern at night.

St Simons Island

The light at St Simons island is 104 feet tall and has a brick keepers house in front of the lighthouse. It is a working lighthouse that along with the keepers house (now a museum) is open to the public. The tower has 129 interior steps. The lighthouse has an interesting history. One lightkeeper was murdered on the grounds when he had an disagreement with his assistant. Another lightkeeper and his wife kept hearing unexplained footsteps in the tower, which sent their dog Jinx into a frenzy. To this day people still talk of hearing strange footsteps in the tower. Read more about the history in the link from in the section Great Links on Georgia Lighthouses.
I enjoyed our visit to St Simons island. It is a nice beach town with a street of tourist and artsy shops. A great place to visit and spend an afternoon!