Photo Credit: David Wright
A resource for history, restoration information, news and access to the Halfway Rock Lighthouse live camera
We have been very fortunate to make contact with six former keepers who lived at Halfway Rock. Their stories and photos are valuable history. If you know of any historical images or stories, please let us know how we might share them.
A Brief History of Halfway Rock Light
Halfway Rock Light Station was built in 1871, ten miles offshore from Portland, Maine. It is so named because the ledge it marks happens to be midway across the mouth of Casco Bay, halfway between Cape Elizabeth to the west and Cape Small to the east.
Known as a “stag lighthouse”, because it was deemed too dangerous for women and families, it has been written that “offshore lighthouses are among the most dangerous and forlorn places on Earth.”
The lighthouse was continuously staffed for 105 years, until 1975, when it was automated by the Coast Guard. After the staff was removed, the Halfway Rock was abandoned to the whims of Mother Nature for 40 years.
In 2012, Halfway rock was the poster child for the most endangered lighthouses in America.
In 2014, the federal government tried to find a non-profit to take over the maintenance responsibilities. When no custodians volunteered, it was sold off at public auction.
At that time of our purchase, the deteriorated condition of Halfway Rock was as follows:
- windows and doors nearly all broken out by storms,
- birds living inside,
- water leaking through all stories of both buildings,
- more than half of the 120’ dock was washed away,
- buildings empty except for large accumulation of debris.
The subsequent restoration, now complete, was the recipient of the highest award of the American Lighthouse Foundation in 2017
The Book: Halfway Rock Light Station
by Ford Reiche
Available for purchase here and on Amazon.com in April, 2018.
The Halfway Rock Lighthouse Web Cam
Our camera has night vision, and is re-aimed frequently. Be sure to check back for more angles!