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 American Lighthouse Foundation, Inc.

P.O. Box 565

Rockland, Maine 04841

Phone: 207-594-4174


The American Lighthouse  Foundation is a  Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization dedicated  to the preservation of America's historic lighthouses.






ALF Obtains More Lights



Released 11/27/05

The nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation has officially announced that two additional Maine lighthouses have now come under their auspices.


In making the announcement, Tim Harrison, president of the Wells, Maine, nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation, stated, “Thanks to


our working partnership with the United States Coast Guard, the American Lighthouse Foundation has been granted the opportunity to care for the 1872 Whaleback Light at the mouth of the Piscataqua River near Kittery, as well as the 1905 Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse in Casco Bay off of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.” The

Whaleback Lighthouse

Photo by Jeremy D'Entremont    

Whaleback Lighthouse



addition of these two lighthouses brings a total of twenty-two lighthouses under the auspices of the American Lighthouse Foundation, eleven of them being in Maine.


Although Whaleback and Ram Island Ledge are not the type of lighthouses that the public will be able to readily access, the American Lighthouse Foundation stated that they are committed to utilizing these historic structures in a creative educational fashion that benefits their surrounding communities and safeguards the future of the lights at the same time. As part of this plan they hope to partner with youth and environmental nonprofit organizations whose missions include a connection to the sea. By doing so they hope to be able to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation for lighthouses like Whaleback and Ram Island Ledge, which in turn will help to ensure their long-term preservation.


Bob Trapani, Jr., Executive Director of the American Lighthouse Foundation, said, “Unlike most of their counterparts on land, many of America’s offshore lighthouses are endangered and in need of critical


Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse

Photo by Jeremy D'Entremont     

Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse


restoration. These rugged sentinels that stand out in the water off our coastline have performed invaluable service to the mariner over the last century and a half, but now the future of these beacons is shrouded in a fog of uncertainty as few nonprofits or government agencies are willing or capable of


stepping forward to help the U.S. Coast Guard care for them.” However, the group admits that the inherent accessibility challenges and higher costs associated with preserving a water-locked lighthouse versus a land-based light will be difficult.


Despite such challenges, the nonprofit group believes that offshore lighthouses deserve to be saved stating that each structure, when constructed, was an engineering marvel in its own right. Just as important, says Harrison, is that the memories of the light keepers who served at these beacons must be preserved for future generations. He added, “These men kept the lights burning bright through horrific storms and complete isolation and are some of the most dedicated people who have ever served our country.” Harrison went on to say they are now trying to locate photographs, memories and stories about the keepers who served at these lighthouses. The group hopes that descendants of the keepers from the old Lighthouse Service will come forward with the stories and photographs.


Although other offshore lighthouses surrounded by water are under their auspices, such as Halfway Rock Lighthouse in Casco Bay and Boon Island Light off the coast of York and Kittery, the American Lighthouse Foundation has taken on a daunting and expensive task of trying to save these vital slices of Maine’s maritime past. But the group is also no stranger to offshore preservation projects with restoration projects well underway currently at two island lighthouses and one at the end of a mile long breakwater.


Harrison said, “The American Lighthouse Foundation’s commitment to the preservation of our nation’s lighthouse heritage is an extremely costly mission. Since we do not receive any federal or state funding, we depend wholly on the generosity and ongoing financial support of the general public. We need public and corporate help to save lighthouses like Whaleback and Ram Island Ledge for future generations.” As the year comes to a close Harrison said he hopes the public will be generous with year-end donations “to keep the lights shining.”





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