West Quoddy Head Light facts for kids

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West Quoddy Head Light
West Quoddy Head Light.jpg
West Quoddy Head Light, with Grand Manan in the background
Location West Quoddy head/Bay of Fundy
Coordinates 44°48′54.387″N 66°57′2.416″W / 44.8151075°N 66.95067111°W / 44.8151075; -66.95067111Coordinates: 44°48′54.387″N 66°57′2.416″W / 44.8151075°N 66.95067111°W / 44.8151075; -66.95067111
Year first constructed 1808
Year first lit 1858 (Current tower)
Automated 1988
Foundation Masonry
Construction Brick
Tower shape Conical
Markings / pattern Red and white bands with black lantern
Height 49 feet (15 m)
Focal height
Original lens Third order Fresnel lens
Current lens Third order Fresnel lens
Intensity 35,000 candela
Range 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi)
Characteristic Flashing(2) White 15s
Fog signal HORN: 2 every 30s
Admiralty number H4162
ARLHS number USA-880
USCG number 1-1040
West Quoddy Head Light Station
Nearest city Lubec, Maine
Built 1808
NRHP reference No. 80004601
Added to NRHP July 4, 1980

West Quoddy Head, in Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, Maine, is the easternmost point of the contiguous United States. Since 1808, there has been a lighthouse there to guide ships through the Quoddy Narrows. The current one, with distinctive red-and-white stripes, was built in 1858, and is an active aid to navigation. Photographs and paintings of this lighthouse are frequently reproduced. The 3rd order Fresnel lens is the only 3rd order and one of only eight Fresnel lenses still in use on the Maine Coast.

The light station was added to the National Register of Historic Places as West Quoddy Head Light Station on July 4, 1980.


West Quoddy Head is an easterly-pointing peninsula in southeastern Lubec, overlooking Quoddy Narrows, a strait between Lubec and Campobello Island, Canada, that provides access to Passamaquoddy Bay and harbors located on the St. Croix River and other rivers which the empty into the bay. Most of the peninsula is part of Quoddy Head State Park, and the light station is located near the southern end of its eastern face.

The present light station includes a tower, former keeper's quarters, service building, and oil house. The tower is circular, and is 49 feet (15 m) in height, with the beacon at 83 feet (25 m) above sea level. The light, magnified by a third-order Fresnel lens, has a range of 18 miles (29 km). The tower is built of brick, and painted in alternating horizontal red and white stripes. A small gabled entry vestibule, also brick, projects from the tower. The keeper's house is a wood frame structure, 1-1/2 stories in height.


A lighthouse at West Passamaquoddy Head, Maine, was authorized by Congress in 1806. The light station was finished on April 21, 1808, at a cost of $5,000. In 1820, Congress authorized the first fog signal at the station, a 500-pound (230 kg) bell, for a cost of $1,000. The current tower was built in 1858. The present station was built in 1858. The former keeper's house now serves as a museum and visitor's center.

In 1990, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 25 cent stamp featuring the West Quoddy Head Light.


  • The first keeper was Thomas Dexter.
  • 1939: Howard Grey was the last civilian keeper of the station prior to its transfer to the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • 1962: As of Aug. 15, 1962, BM1 Bruce Keene was OIC, or Officer-in-Charge (dates of the time he began and ended his tour are not known— he served at least through September 1964.) According to documents in the West Quoddy file, his father, LT Thomas Keene, had previously served as the head keeper of the light station.
  • 1963: As of Oct. 27, Keene was still OIC and (Engineman?) Richard Copeland was his assistant.
  • 1978: Through May 31 the OIC was BM1 Cliffton Scholfield. He had a crew of two assistants: MT2 Carl Hatch and MT# Davis Blanding.
  • 1978: On June 1, BM2 George Eaton took over as the OIC of the station. He had two assistants.
  • 1979: MK3 Carl Hatch was a member of the crew.
  • 1981: As of Sept. 14, the OIC was BM1 John Richardson.
  • 1988: The last OIC (keeper) was Malcolm Rouse, USCG.



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