Rent a Lighthouse
Have you ever thought to rent a lighthouse on a private island instead of the typical hotel? Well, you can do just that in beautiful Maine. On our Maine adventure, we were fortunate enough to get a private tour of the Little River Lighthouse in Cutler Maine. Due to its private 15-acre island location, this beautiful lighthouse is accessible only by boat.
The volunteer keeper met us at the pier in Cutler Maine on a small but seaworthy boat. After brief introductions, we motored for about 15 minutes across to the island. On the leeward side of the island was a landing dock to load/unload people and supplies. You then walk about a ½ mile across to the other side of the island to where the lighthouse is. They built a very nice raised wooden platform. Don’t worry; you don’t have to carry all your supplies with you. Because the keeper has a riding mower with a trailer that will haul everything for you to the other side.
The island consists of 15 acres of forest. And except for the keeper and an occasional deer, you are alone. They built the first lighthouse on this island in 1847 out of stone. In 1876, the old stone lighthouse was torn down and replaced with the current cast iron tower. In 1888, they demolished the old granite keepers house and replaced it with one made from wood. Stone homes are tough to heat and to be comfortable in during the cold winters.
The current keeper’s house has three bedrooms, two baths, a living room and kitchen. There is a lawn out front overlooking the Bay of Fundy. Facing the ocean are Adirondack chairs and picnic tables to enjoy the ocean breezes and views. You will certainly enjoy the tranquility with walks throughout the island and along the rocks. See the sunrise in the morning and walk to the west side of the island to enjoy a magnificent sunset. And be sure to keep watch for that courageous deer that swam over from the mainland.
The restored lighthouse will take you back in time to when ships relied on these for safe navigation. The winding staircase leads up to the lightroom where you can stand next to the working light. Of course, the light is no longer a gas lamp but rather a more modern light bulb. It was incredible that the small light bulb they use can be seen for 17 miles. The lens attributes much by the way it refracts the light. While at the top, you can go outside on the railed balcony and get the best views and pictures of the island and ocean. Lighthouses have a ranking by the size of their lenses. The levels go from first to sixth order with the first order being the largest. The Little River lighthouse is a 5th order lighthouse.
Staying the Night
Staying the night in the keeper’s house when you rent a lighthouse has to be a once in a lifetime experience. The volunteer keeper Terry remains on the island with you should you need transportation back to shore. He will leave you alone if you want or if you feel like talking, he is a wealth of knowledge of the history of the lighthouse and island. Unlike a regular hotel, you need to bring your food, drinking water, linens, and towels. However, the beds have blankets and pillows. The kitchen has everything you need including a modern replica of an old wood stove. There is electricity in the house, and it even has wifi.
That volunteer keeper I mentioned earlier happens to be none other than Terry Rowden. Terry has devoted a lot of time to renovations and maintenance on the island over the years along with playing host to the guests. Believe it or not, when Terry was a youngster in the Coast Guard, he was stationed at this very lighthouse from 1968-1970.
So go ahead and do something that not many can say they have done, rent a lighthouse for a night or two. Enjoy some of the most peaceful time of your life on your very own private island with a magnificent view and the sounds of crashing waves on the rocks.
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