History of Nash Island Light

Photo: John Purington and children, circa 1920

John Purington and children, circa 1920

Image Credit/Source:
(photographer unknown)

John (squatting in photo) was light keeper from 1916 - 1935.

Nash Island Light Station

Image Credit/Source:
U.S. Coast Guard

Courtesty of National Archives
Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Lighthouses
Photo series: Nash Island, 1855 - 1933

Nash Island Light Station

Image Credit/Source:
U.S. Coast Guard

Courtesty of National Archives
Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Lighthouses
Photo series: Nash Island, 1855 - 1933

(Detail from previous image)

Image Credit/Source:
U.S. Coast Guard

Courtesty of National Archives
Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Lighthouses
Photo series: Nash Island, 1855 - 1933

Nash Island Light Station

Image Credit/Source:
U.S. Coast Guard

Courtesty of National Archives
Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Lighthouses
Photo series: Nash Island, 1855 - 1933

Nash Island Light Station

Image Credit/Source:
U.S. Coast guard

Courtesty of National Archives
Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Lighthouses
Photo series: Nash Island, 1855 - 1933

Nash Island Light Station

Image Credit/Source:
U.S. Coast Guard

Courtesty of National Archives
Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Lighthouses
Photo series: Nash Island, 1855 - 1933

Nash Island Light Station

Image Credit/Source:
U.S. Coast Guard

Courtesty of National Archives
Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Lighthouses
Photo series: Nash Island, 1855 - 1933

(Detail from previous image)

Image Credit/Source:
U.S. Coast Guard

Courtesty of National Archives
Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Lighthouses
Photo series: Nash Island, 1855 - 1933

Introduction

Nash’s square, pyramidal brick lighthouse tower, two miles offshore from South Addison, Maine, was built in 1873, replacing a round, wooden tower built in 1838. A lantern, iron deck and parapet were installed in 1874. The light on Nash Island was 4th Order, fixed red, with its focal plane 57 feet above water level.

In addition to the light tower, the buildings at this site included a 31’ X 18.5’ dwelling house, a separate “workroom” and a wood storage house all connected to the tower by covered walkways. In 1878 a 12’ X 20’ boathouse was built and in 1888 a pyramidal bell tower was erected and equipped with a 1000-pound bell. There was also a shed for oil storage. All the buildings but the light tower were demolished in 1958 when the light was automated. A lighted buoy 1/4 mile to the west replaced it in 1982.

The Friends of Nash Island Light (FNIL), a not-for-profit charitable organization in Addison, took possession of the lighthouse in 1997 with the express purpose of restoring and maintaining it. FNIL produced a film, made by Michel Chalufour, called “Jenny’s Island Life,” about Jenny Cirone who lived in South Addison until her death in 2004. Her sheep, descendants of her childhood flock, are still maintained on Nash by Alf Wakeman. All proceeds from the sale of the dvd and poster go toward the preservation and maintenance of the tower.

More About the Light's History

Explore more about Nash Island Light's history by visiting the following pages.

» Historical Background

» Rationale for Preserving the Lighthouse

» Restoration

» Jenny Cirone & the Sheep

Light Keepers

Thirteen known keepers of the Nash Island Light are listed below, covering the period of 1847 through 1958, when the light was automated.

John Wass
1847-1853
Daniel Curtis
1853 - ?
Enos D. Wass
1865-1872
Edwin K. Heath
1872 - 1876
Nehemiah Guptill
1876 - 1881
Roscoe G. Lophaus
1881 - 1883
Charles S. Holt
1883 - 1902
Osmond Cummings
1883 - 1902
Allen Carter Holt
1910 - 1916
John Purington
1916 - 1935
Edwin Pettegrew
1935
Larson Alley
? - 1947
Edward Wallace
1947 - 1958

© Copyright Friends of Nash Island Light · Website by Barnstormer Design Group ·