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Bass Harbor Lighthouse

The cliffside Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park marks the entrance to Bass Harbor on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island. It has stood since 1858 when Congress appropriated funds after it determined that “sufficient need” existed to have a lighthouse near the entrance to Bass Harbor. Originally, there was no easy access via a boat landing until one was added in 1894.

The lighthouse was built of brick in 1858 on a stone foundation, standing 56 feet above mean high water. This was followed by the addition of a fog bell and tower in 1876; however, this was replaced by a substantially larger 4,000-pound bell was installed within the tower in 1898. The original lighthouse lens was a Fifth Order Fresnel Lens. This was replaced in 1902 by a Fourth Order Fresnel Lens with a range of 13 nautical miles. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places under the title of Bass Harbor Head Light Station in 1988.

There is also a keeper's house that remains pretty much in its original form other than the addition of a 10-foot section that was added in 1900. The lighthouse still belongs to the U.S. Coast Guard. Only the grounds are open to the public. The keeper's house is closed and no longer used as a residence for the U.S. Coast Guard, and it is not open to the public. Occasional tours are conducted by the Tremont Historical Society. Visitors can get close to the bell and light via a concrete path, and there is a short walk that takes one to a series of wooden steps that lead down onto the many granite boulders that provide a great view of the harbor side of the lighthouse.

Read more about Bass Harbor Lighthouse

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