Lubec Channel Light
Lubec Channel Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1890
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1890
Year Automated: 1939
Shape: Conical "Spark Plug"
Tower Height: 40 ft.
Original Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: 150mm, Solar
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Year Constructed: 1890
Number of Stories:
Architectural Style: Integral
Construction Materials: Cast Iron
Lubec Channel Lighthouse
(3 photos, 46KB total download)
Last Visited: September, 2000
The slender channel called Lubec Narrows, between Lubec and Campobello Island, New Brunswick, was dredged in the early 1880s. The Lighthouse Board urged the funding of a lighthouse at the entrance to Lubec Narrows, which would make the channel “of value to commerce at night.” Congress appropriated $40,000 for a lighthouse in the summer of 1886.
Title to the lighthouse site was secured from the State of Maine, and borings were made in 1887 into the “tough blue clay” at the shoal. As the project progressed, it became apparent that additional funds were needed. Congress appropriated $12,000 more in 1888, and during the following year three contracts were made: one for the metalwork from Detroit, Michigan, one for Portland cement from Boston, and one for the construction of the lighthouse.
The station went into operation on December 31, 1890, with a white flash every 15 seconds shown from 61 feet above sea level. The tower was painted brown until 1903, when it was changed to white.
In 1989 the light was to be discontinued, but local residents mounted a "Save the Sparkplug" campaign. Automobile sparkplugs were handed out to gain attention for the cause. In 1992, a $700,000 renovation restored Lubec Channel Light to its best condition in decades. The renovation included the stabilization of the foundation, which had developed a tilt over the years. New plates were installed on the caisson and 200 cubic yards of concrete was pumped in.
Twelve piles were then driven through the caisson into the bedrock. One of the piles was driven 149 feet. The lighthouse still has a six-degree list but is considered stable.
In the summer of 2001, the lighthouse received a new coat of paint and other maintenance from the U.S. Coast Guard. The crew out of Southwest Harbor, Maine, spent four days working on the tower. In her honor, the Coast Guard crew painted "Connie Small was here" on the tower.
Only two sardine packing plants are in operation today in Lubec, but the town is still an active fishing community and the Channel Light remains an important aid to navigation. The lighthouse can easily be seen from many points on shore. When visiting the area be sure to drive to Campobello Island, site of Franklin D. Roosevelt's former summer home and East Quoddy Head Lighthouse. Also, you might want to stop at the Lubec Historical Society to see a 1,000-pound fog bell once used at Lubec Channel Light.
New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide
Nearest Address: S Lubec Rd, Lubec, ME
- It's best to view this lighthouse from the water, but we found an ok view from a beach on our way back from West Quoddy
- From Route 189 turn onto South Lubec Road.
- From there the lighthouse can be seen from the distance off to your left. Pull over when you see any beach area that offers a good view.
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