B A S S H A R B O R L I G H T H O U S E
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Friday, October 8, 2004
Address: Bass Harbor, Maine
- From Ellsworth follow Route 3 south onto Mt. Desert Island
- Once over the small bridge onto the island, bear right onto Route 102.
- Follow Route 102 for 13 miles through Somesville and Southwest Harbor.
- Bear left onto Route 102A. Follow 102A to the entrance of the Bass Harbor Light Station.
Hours: Open year-round from 9am-sunset. The house and tower are unaccessible.
Retail: Click here to order your own miniture Bass Harbor Lighthouse!
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Constructed in 1858 to help guide ships in and out of Bass Harbor, Bass Harbor Lighthouse has weathered-well the tests of both time and climate. Arguably the most photographed sight in the state of Maine, the lighthouse draws visitors from near and far, all clamoring with cameras in hand to take the perfect picture, like the many who have tried before them. My photo op today may very well be cliché, but you cannot deny that this seaside sentinel is a most beautiful sight situated in a dazzlingly picturesque setting.
Lighthouses have a rich and interesting history. I think most people like them, for me they exude a certain strength and presence of character. Always on guard, they are the keepers of safe passage; a light which slices through the darkness, a bell toll that splits the wispy, foggy white.
In the beginning our ancestors built fires at water's edge to warn of impending danger. Not surprisingly, it was the ancient Egyptians who built the first lighthouses, raising the bar high with the construction of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, a 40-story structure now designated as one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. That lighthouse is now long gone, but its impact on lighthouse design and construction must have provided a wellspring of benefit to subsequent civilizations interested in water navigation.
All this talk of antiquity has effectively increased my interest in the history of Bass Harbor Lighthouse. Come with me and let's together explore this interesting transmitter of light and sound.
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