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Friends of Wood Island Light

Sailor, family dog, Wood Island Lighthouse, ca. 1903

Contributed by Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse
MMN Item 18526 Item Details
Sailor, family dog, Wood Island Lighthouse, ca. 1903
MMN Item 18526 Zoom


Sailor lived on Wood Island off the coast of Biddeford near the entrance to the Saco River.

Sailor lived with the five Orcutt children, whose father, Thomas Henry Orcutt, was the lighthouse keeper.

He had many duties, including ringing the big fog bell during low visibililty so that mariners would be made aware of their proximity to the island. Sailor found another use for this bell. When ships passed close by and gave a toot on their horns, Sailor ran out to the fog bell tower and grabbed the rope attached to the clapper in this teeth.

He gave a mighty pull, sending an answering message to the people at sea. Some news reports indicated that Sailor always gave three rings in his answering salute.

This activity made him very popular both near and far. His tale was told in newspapers all the way to Wisconsin.

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