National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Lighthouse Postcards

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Mount Desert Rock postcard face - click to enlarge

Mount Desert Rock postcard obverse - click to enlarge

Locate on NOAA nautical chart

Mount Desert Rock

State: ME
Year established: 1830
Latitude: 43 deg 58 min 7 sec N
Longitude: 68 deg 7 min 42 sec W
Height above sea level: 75 feet

Original construction:
short wooden tower at end of stone keeper's house

1847: present 58-foot granite tower
1857: raised to 60 feet

Automated in 1977; active aid to navigation; property leased to and maintained by Bar Harbor College of the Atlantic as a whale watching station.

Light characteristic:
Flashing white light every 15 seconds, visible for 17 nautical miles; fog signal 2 blasts every 30 seconds

The Mount Desert Rock Light station has been called the most exposed light station in the U.S., lying only 17 feet above sea level and 20 miles out to sea from the nearest port.

More information:
Holland Jr., F. Ross, America's Lighthouses: Their Illustrated History Since 1716, (Brattleboro, VT: The Stephen Greene Press, 1972), pp. 92-93
Holland Jr., F. Ross, Great American Lighthouses, National Historic Trust Guide, (Washington, DC: The Preservation Press, 1989), pp. 83-84
Roberts, B., & Jones, R., American Lighthouses; A Comprehensive Guide, (Old Saybrook, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 1998), pp. 31-32