National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Lighthouse Postcards

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Matinicus Rock postcard face - click to enlarge

Matinicus Rock postcard obverse - click to enlarge

Locate on NOAA nautical chart

Matinicus Rock

State: ME
Year established: 1827
Latitude: 43 deg 47 min 0 sec N
Longitude: 66 deg 51 min 19 sec W
Height above sea level: 90 (south light) feet

Original construction:
stone dwelling with wooden towers at each end

1848: two granite towers at either end of granite keeper's house
1857: 48-foot granite towers 60 yards apart

North (lower) light discontinued in 1924; South light automated in 1983; active aid to navigation

Light characteristic:
White flash every 10 seconds, visible for 20 nautical miles; fog signal every 15 seconds

The Matinicus Rock Light Station was home to Abbie Burgess, perhaps one of the most famous women lighthouse keepers in the U.S.

More information:
Holland Jr., F. Ross, Great American Lighthouses, National Historic Trust Guide, (Washington, DC: The Preservation Press, 1989), pp. 92-93
Holland Jr., F. Ross, America's Lighthouses: Their Illustrated History Since 1716, (Brattleboro, VT: The Stephen Greene Press, 1972), p. 88
Roberts, B., & Jones, R., American Lighthouses; A Comprehensive Guide, (Old Saybrook, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 1998), pp. 44-45