Candy Striper

May 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

West Quoddy HeadWest Quoddy Head

The Candy Striper -

The West Quoddy Lighthouse is the easternmost lighthouse in the contiguous U.S. Built on a easterly-pointing peninsula in southeastern Lubec, Maine where it keeps mariners safe while passing through the Quoddy Narrows between Lubec and Campobello Island Canada. A lighthouse was first built here in 1808 but was so poorly built in had to be rebuilt in 1831. The current one is a painted striped brick tower as shown above and was built in 1857. The stripes were painted shortly after it was built. It was automated in 1988. It stands 47 feet tall and the third order fresnel lens is 83 feet above sea level. The light keeps mariners safe as they pass through the Quoddy Narrows that border the U.S. and Canada. The original lighthouse in 1808 was built for $5000, and the lightkeepers yearly salary was a mere $250. Congress had appropriated an amount of $15,000 when it was rebuilt in 1857 and the lightkeepers salary was raised to $450 per year.

In 1990 U.S 25 cent postage stamp depicted the lighthouse with only 13 stripes rather than the actual 15 stripes. The only other lighthouse with red and white painted horizontal stripes in the U.S. is on Assateague Island on the eastern coastline of Virginia. The red stripes were common place with Canadian lighthouses because it made the towers stand out against the snow. The color red has the longest visual wavelength so it can be seen the furthest out to sea. The West Quoddy light can be seen about 18 nautical miles out to sea.


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