Heron Neck Light, Vinalhaven, Green's Island, Maine
Built in 1854.
HERON NECK LIGHT
HERON NECK LIGHT, MAINE
GREEN’S ISLAND SOUTHWEST OF VINALHAVEN, MAINE
Station Established: 1854
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1854
Foundation Materials: GRANITE BLOCKS
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH RED AND BLACK TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL
- The Heron Neck Light station was established in 1854. The light is situation on Green’s Island which is rocky terrain and marks the entrance to Hurricane Sound which leads to Carver’s Harbor in Vinalhaven, Maine.
- The 30-foot tower was made of brick. It was attached to a keeper’s house which was also constructed of brick. The original optic in the tower was a fifth order Fresnel lens that displayed a fixed red light.
- The keeper’s quarters needed to be rebuilt in 1895 because the original mortar had left the house damp and leaky. The new house was attached to the tower.
- In 1903 an oil house was added to the station. The original fog bell was replaced by a fog siren at an unknown date. In the early 1900’s, one of the keepers had trained a “fog dog”. He trained the dog to bark a response to the fog horns of passing boats. When the first dog “retired”, he trained another one to do the same.
- The light was automated in 1982. The original Fresnel lens was replaced with a modern optic. In 1989, an electrical fire all but destroyed the keeper’s quarters. The Coast Guard planned to raze the structure but finally agreed to turn the station over to the Island Institute in Rockland, Maine. The Institute leased the land to a private party who restored the keeper’s quarters. The success of the “Heron Neck Light” project has led to 28 Maine lighthouses being preserved by communities and organizations.
- The light remains an active aid to navigation. The public may land at the light but the station is not open to the public.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.