Ram Island Ledge Light, Casco Bay, Portland, Maine
Built in 1905.
RAM ISLAND LEDGE LIGHT
ENTRANCE TO PORTLAND HARBOR, CASCO BAY, CAPE ELIZABETH, MAINE
Station Established: 1905
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1905
Foundation Materials: NATURAL/EMPLACED
Construction Materials: GRANITE BLOCKS
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER FRESNEL LENS
- Ram Island is a rocky ledge about a mile offshore from the Portland Harbor and is surrounded by ledges – some just below the water’s surface.
- In 1855 an iron spindle was erected on Ram Island Ledge. That was later replaced with a 50 foot wooden tripod in 1873. In bad weather these navigational aids could not be seen and many boats ran aground on the treacherous rocks.
- Finally in 1903 the government began building the Rams Island Ledge Light. The tower is a twin of Graves Light which was built in Boston Harbor at roughly the same time.
- Granite blocks were numbered before being ferried out to the island. The numbers allowed the builders to easily place them. Work could only be done at the site at low tide since the ledge is underwater most of the time.
- The tower was 90 feet high after the lantern was in place and lit on January 23, 1905.
- The station was electrified in 1958 and automated in 1959.
- The light was converted to solar power in 2001.
- In 2005 a license to care for the light was granted to the American Lighthouse Foundation. The light is not open to the public and is an active aid to navigation.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.