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Name: Little River Light   Map it!

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Also known as: Beacon of Freedom

Nearest Town or City:
Cutler, Maine, United States

Location: Cutler Harbor, Bay of Fundy

Click to enlarge: Photo    Large photo
Photo: Timothy Harrison
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Managing Organization:
American Lighthouse Foundation


Contact Address Information:
PO Box 565
Maine, United States

In 1975, the lens was removed from this lighthouse and an automated optic was installed on a skeleton tower nearby. The American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF) received a lease on Little River Light in early 2000, and the light was returned to the lighthouse on October 2, 2001, when the lighthouse, after being dark for 26 years, was relighted as a "Beacon of Freedom." The station became the property of ALF on July 27, 2002 under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. The entire Little Light Station, once listed by Maine Preservation as “One of Maines’s Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties” was immaculately restored by a large group of dedicated and varied volunteers under the leadership of Timothy Harrison, whose efforts had originally secured ownership of the lighthouse for the American Lighthouse Foundation. In season the keeper’s house is now available for overnight stays.

Tower Height: 41

Height of Focal Plane: 56

Characteristic and Range: Flashing white every six seconds.

Description of Tower: White, conical cast iron tower with green cast iron lantern.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1888 two story wood L-shaped Victorian keeper's house; 1905 stone oil house, 1881 wood boathouse.

Earlier Towers?
1847: Stone tower attached to stone keeper's house.

Date Established: 1847

Date Present Tower Built: 1876

Date Deactivated: 1975-2001

Optics: 1855: Fifth order Fresnel lens; 1916 upgraded to 4th order lens; 1968 DCB-10 Rotating light; 1975 skeleton tower - 300 mm; 2001: Vega revolving light installed in tower (VRB-25) & skeleton tower removed; 2019: Vega VRB LED light.

Fog Signal: Formerly bell and striking machinery in pyramidal wood bell tower; now automated fog horn with one blast every 10 seconds.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? Yes.

The Bold Coast Charters goes past the lighthouse on its trips to see the puffins on Machias Seal Island (home to a Canadian lighthouse). Also, Ed Payson writes: "The Western Head Trail, located on the south side of the harbor, offers many good views of the light, as well as Machias Seal Island Light and Southwestern Head Light on Grand Manan. A couple of miles over rough terrain, this trail offers really nice views of the three lights on a clear day. Little River is close; the other two are in the distance."

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: Zebediah Tucker (1848-1849); Elijah Shiverick (1849-1853); John McGuire (1853-1865); Oliver Ackley (1865-1866); Edward Noyes (1866-1870); Lucius Davis (1870-1896); Roscoe G. Johnson (1896-1898); Fred W. Morong (1898-1913); Charles A. Kenney (1913-1921); Willie W. Corbett (1921-1939) --- Coast Guard Keepers: Willie W. Corbett 1939-1945; Gleason Colbeth 1945-1950; Robert R Cale Sr 1951-1956; BMC Russell W. Reilly (c. 1958-1960 and c. 1971?); David Hardman (1958-1960); EN2 William Clow (c. late 1950s); BM3 George Joy (c. late 1950s and 4/27/69 - 4/7/71); BM1 Robert Marston (c. late 1950s and ?-March 1972); Chuck Shipp (c. 1958); Burley Chandler (1964 to 3/16/1967); BMCP Bruce G. Keene (1/3/1966 - 3/17/1967); Petty Officer Ronald E. Sullivan (3/17/1967 - 4/27/1969); Terry Rowden (1968-1970); David P Bartholomy 1970-1972; BM3 Albert Vachon (March 1972 - January 1973); John A. Arrington - (Officer in Charge March 1972 - March 1973); BM3 Anthony W. Weyer c. Jan. 1973

Nearby Lodging: The keeper's house at Little River Light is open for overnight stays.

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