The massive original 2nd order Fresnel lens from Maine’s Boon Island Lighthouse is now on permanent display at the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum in Kittery, Maine.
The arrival of the lens in Kittery ends a long-standing controversy over where the lens should go. Both the towns of Kittery and York wanted the historic lens which has been in storage since it was removed from the lighthouse in 1993, and had been in Coast Guard storage ever since.
The town of York wanted to display the lens in a special structure that would have been built to house the lens at Sohier Park, which is adjacent to Nubble Lighthouse, now owned by the town. The argument was that tourists can see Boon Island from the park and since the island had always been considered to be part of York, then York should have it.
However, Elaine Peverly of Kittery didn’t agree and lead the effort to get the lens in Kittery. She and the others from Kittery who fought a letter-writing campaign, proved their point with the Coast Guard’s ultimate decision to bring the lens to the museum for display. Elaine said, “We had the place to display and protect it properly. Besides, most of the keepers were from Kittery.”
The Kittery Historical and Naval Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm from June 5, through Columbus Day. However, appointments can be made to view the museum at other times by calling the museum at 207-439-3080. The museum is located at the junctions of Rogers Road Extension and U. S. Rt. 1 next to the Kittery Town Hall.
This story appeared in the
June 2000 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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