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Friends of Wood Island Light

Wood Island Light Station, Biddeford, ca. 1886

Contributed by Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse
MMN Item 16415 Item Details
Wood Island Light Station, Biddeford, ca. 1886
MMN Item 16415 Zoom


Photo of Wood Island Lighthouse ca. 1886 taken by a photographer in the First Naval District.

This Lighthouse was constructed in 1808 and the Thomas Orcutt family lived in the dwelling house and kept the light from 1886-1905. It is believed that the uniformed keeper in the photo is Thomas Henry Orcutt and that the photo was taken somewhere near the beginning of his service at the lighthouse.

His wife Hannah (7 years his junior) is standing on the left and his three youngest children appear in the photo, Mattie and Minnie on the steps and George is perched on the stonewall in front.

One of the keeper's jobs was to keep the lens in the lantern room atop the tower covered during the day in order to protect the lens from discoloration by the harsh direct sunlight of day. There was a linen curtain for this purpose and can be seen in the photo.

The photo is kept at the Coast Guard Historian's office in Washington, D.C.

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