Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Update – The Lighthouse You Could Have Bought

If you read the blog post about Cape Elizabeth, then you may remember reading about the lighthouse for sale. Remember the Ram Island Ledge Light that started with an opening bid of $10,000 and how you could have bought that piece of Maine nautical history? Well, you missed your chance because a brain surgeon from Maine won the bid with a promise of $190,000.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The sale was not without controversy and bidding wars drove the price much higher than some thought it should have sold for. In the last two weeks of the sale the price jumped from $30,000 to $190,000. The doctor who bought the lighthouse wished to keep a low profile and remain anonymous. But after his name was released by the General Services Administration (the agency responsible for the sale), he was bombarded with questions from lighthouse preservation groups regarding his intentions for the future of the light. The doctor simply said he bought the property in order to preserve the lighthouse and protect its historic role at the entrance to Portland Harbor. Initial structural surveys indicate that the light is in fairly good shape. But repairs to the pier and other parts may cost over a quarter of a million dollars.

Navigation markers have existed on this site since the 1850’s. The markers helped mariners avoid the dangerous outcroppings by staying between Ram Island Ledge and Portland Head at Cape Elizabeth. But this treacherous location also makes it difficult to access the lighthouse. Not only is it difficult to get a boat or kayak safely on the ledge but visitors must climb a 30-foot exterior ladder just to get into the structure.

Of the nearly 70 lighthouses that grace the coast of Maine, only eight are in private ownership. Groups or individuals who take over the properties are required to maintain them in accordance with the National Register of Historic Places. As for the working lighthouses, like Ram Island Ledge Light, the Coast Guard continues to operate and maintain the light and horn. So with the doctor’s help, one of the lighthouses standing guard outside of Portland Harbor will continue to guide mariners to safety and preserve national history.
Ram Island Ledge Light (the little spec located off to the right in the distance) is overshadowed
by the beautiful Portland Head Light. 
The lights importance as a navigational markers is evident by the rocky ledge
that it sits on.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nancy and Betsy,
    I am catching up on your blog, now that I'm back from Ohio. I just read your wonderful tribute to Otter. I am so sorry to hear that she has passed on. She sound like she was an absolutely delightful dog. Aren't labs the best?
    Love, Suzie


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