Digest>Archives> September 2002

Maine's Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Chosen for New Quarter

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Maine's picturesque Pemaquid Point Lighthouse was chosen as the winning design for the state's new quarter to be issued by the U.S. Mint in May of 2003.

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Governor King of Maine unveils the new design. ...
Photo by: Joe Phelan

Maine's Governor Angus King at a press conference made the announcement of the winning design on August 8, 2002. Under the law, the Governor could have made the choice himself but instead opted to open the voting to the public.

The public had a choice of four different designs to vote from. One design featured Maine's Mt. Katahdin, another featured an outline of the state with the suns rays, while a third design featured Maine's West Quoddy Head Lighthouse and of course the winning design of Pemaquid Point. We were originally worried that a split between the two lighthouse designs would cause one of the non lighthouse designs to win, this was not the case.

Although, Lighthouse Digest had supported Maine's West Quoddy Lighthouse, the final design that was created by the U.S. Mint for the voting was changed significantly from the original design that had been submitted.

Of the 117,000 votes cast, 110,000 came in via the Internet and the governor admitted that there was no way to keep the voting honest. By voting via the Internet, it was possible that people could cast more than one vote for a specific design. However, the governor said it was done to create interest and have some fun doing it, all of which were accomplished by allowing the voting to take place the way that it did. The Pemaquid Point Lighthouse design won by 7000 votes.

When asked which design he voted for the governor declined to comment, although he did admit that it was tempting to vote more than once, but he remained honest and only voted once.

The voting had been open for a two week period and voting was stopped at 5pm on August 7th, National Lighthouse Day. Votes were accepted via the Internet, fax and mail.

When the announcement of the winning design was made the next day, on August 8th, none of Maine's media, not the newspapers, radio stations or television stations bothered to go to Pemaquid Point to get first hand reactions from people who were visiting the lighthouse. The only media seen anywhere, was, . . . . you guessed it, Lighthouse Digest. And as you can imagine the visitors at the lighthouse were ecstatic! The museum volunteers, having no access to the radio while they were at work were very grateful that someone finally told them

This story appeared in the September 2002 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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