Where in Maine?

Where in Maine?

Can you peg a name to this lake and its lighthouse?

Photographed by Todd J. Burgess

Maine’s only freshwater, landlocked lighthouse (watch an aerial video) plays sentinel to one of the state’s longest lakes, bordering five towns over nine miles. Designed by Boston marine architect Frank Morse, the 25-foot lighthouse was constructed to prevent vessels from going aground on a jagged reef in the middle of the lake. Initial construction proved hairy (not to mention comical) when the builders set out to transport two oxen to the island to help raise the structure. The crew could only haul one ox at a time due to the size of their barge. After they dropped one ox at the site and were on their way to fetch the other, the first ox apparently got lonesome and began swimming back to the mainland to find his friend. The crew finally got both animals out to the island, and construction was finished over the summer of 1908.

Flashing its beacon nightly 365 days a year for over a century and administered by one of America’s oldest continually operating yacht clubs, the lighthouse is the last of three that once guided boaters on this sizable body of water (vestiges of the others can be found on different corners of the lake). It is thought that the lake’s name derives from an Abenaki word meaning “the place of many sturgeon.” The name of the lighthouse (and the island on which it is perched) is a bit of a mystery, since it suggests this spot is a favored destination for picnics and other fun activities — highly unlikely, given the island’s rugged terrain and small size.

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