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Browns Head Light
Browns Head Light is located in Maine
Browns Head Light
Browns Head Light
Location in Maine
Location Browns Head, Vinalhaven, Maine
Coordinates 44°6′42.352″N 68°54′34.186″W / 44.11176444°N 68.90949611°W / 44.11176444; -68.90949611
Year first constructed 1832
Year first lit 1857 (current structure)
Automated 1987
Tower shape Cylindrical
Markings / pattern White
Focal height 39 feet (12 m)
Range 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi) & 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi)
Characteristic F W with 2 R sectors
Fog signal HORN: 1 every 10s
USCG number 1-3965

Browns Head Light is a lighthouse in Vinalhaven, Maine. Established in 1832, it is an active aid to navigation, marking the southern side of the western entrance to the Fox Island Thoroughfare, a busy strait separating Vinalhaven Island from North Haven. The present lighthouse was built in 1857; and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as "Browns Head Light Station" on January 27, 1983.

Description and history

The Maine town of Vinalhaven occupies a large eponymous island in the south center of Penobscot Bay. The island is studded with inlets and peninsulas, and is just south of North Haven, the other major island of the Fox Islands group, from which it is separated by the Fox Island Thoroughfare. Browns Head is a promontory near the western entrance to the Thoroughfare, and the lighthouse is located on its western shore. The lighthouse is a cylindrical granite structure with a six-sided lantern house, 18 feet (5.5 m) in height, standing with its light about 37 feet (11 m) above sea level. The light has a range of 15 miles (24 km). It is connected by a short covered passageway to the keeper's house, a 1-1/2 story wood frame structure.

A light station first went into operation at this location in 1832. The present tower dates to 1857, and was originally equipped with a fifth-order Fresnel lens. The light was automated in 1987, and remains an active aid to navigation. The light is a well-preserved example of a pre-Civil War lighthouse complex.

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