Early photo of walkway to light tower. The walkway is 214 feet in length and is comprised of five sections supported by wrought iron piers. Click to enlarge.
Summary of Early Activity
Quoted from the National Archives
1883- Ram Island Booth Bay Harbor Maine - An Appropriation of $25,000 was made by act approved August 7, 1882, to construct a lighthouse on Ram Island, Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The materials were got out during the fall and winter and made ready to be landed on the island, and work of erection commenced in the spring on a site acquired by the Government several years ago. The boat-house, landing and fuel house are finished, the dwelling exterior is completed, and the interior is plastered. The granite foundations of the light-tower were put in, the holes in the ledge for the reception of the iron piles of the foot-bridge between the tower and dwelling were completed, and the bridge was commenced. The seas was unusually rough and all work below high-water was difficult.*
*The light was exhibited on the night of November 5, 1883
1890 -. Ram Island entrance to Booth Bay Harbor, Maine. - The two sectors covering the fair-way in the vicinity of this light were changed from red to white and the light changed from fixed to fixed red at all other points of the horizon, by setting ruby glass in the lantern. Minor repairs were made.
1891 - Ram Island entrance to Boothbay Harbor Maine. - The boat slip was lowered and extended 12 feet seasward, and an iron ladder was provided at the landing.
1892 - Ram Island entrance to Boothbay Harbor Maine. - Plank walks were built from the dwelling to the bridge, the fuel house and to the barn, the latter having one flight of stairs. Minor repairs were made.
1897 - Ram Island entrance to Boothbay, Maine. - A thousand pound fog bell struck by machinery, was established. Minor repairs were made.
1901 -Ram Island entrance to Boothbay, Maine. - The tower lightning rod was repaired. the striking machine was overhauled and adjusted, and the iron piers on the bridge leading to the tower were scaled and painted.
1903 - Ram Island, entrance to Boothbay, Maine, - A room was added to the dwelling, and a part of the footbridge leading from the shore to the light tower carried away by a wrecked vessel in January, 1903, was repaired. A fog bell striking machine was provided, and the characteristic changed to a single blow every ten seconds instead of a single and double blow alternatively. The boat slip was repaired.
List of Known Keepers
Samuel John Cavanor 1883-1913
O. G. Reed 1913
Almon Mitchell 1913-1925
Alonzo Conors 1925-?
C. N. Robinson ca. 1930s
Merrill Poor 1944
Ralph Norwood, Coast Guard 1945-1950
Wendell Reece Coast Guard 1953-?
Seeking more information regarding sequence of keepers.
Samuel John Cavanor, First Keeper
History of Lighthouses
History of Ram Island Light Station, Boothbay Maine
Ram Island Light Station is situated south of Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Latitude:43.80398, Longitude:-69.59934. The project was first developed in 1837. At that time the island was purchased for the sum of $195. 1837 deed
It wasn't until 1883, however, that the light was constructed. In the interim there were several ad hoc arrangements.
For instance, fishermen would light lanterns to guide vessels. There were stories of ghosts and other spiritous influences. In March of 1837 Congress appropriated $5,000 to begin the process of planning for the installation of a Light for Ram Island.
In August 7, of 1882 the tidy sum of $25,000 was appropriated by the U. S. Congress to indeed construct a Light Station for the entrance to Booth Bay as it was spelled in those days.
Here is a document showing Engineer Charles Raymond's description of the project at that time, the light tower bricks were originally red. Ram_descritiption
The first lighting of Ram was on November 5, 1883. Here is a copy of the Notice to Mariners.Notice
Grand Banks Schooner Museum Trust,
P O Box 123, Boothbay ME 04537