I love lighthouses. Ever since I was a little kid seeing the first one (for me) on the shores of Lake Michigan, I love lighthouses. The ones built to support ships for the Great Lakes, or the ones on the Shore of one of the great oceans operate the same. The first part of what they do is provide a guiding light. A warning that what lies near the light isn’t something a ship, boat, or canoe wants to deal with directly. Danger, warning, and of course Will Robinson for those of you that get the reference. Many cities had both lighthouses and observatories. The Observatory normally perched don a hill well above the city and the harbor and was where people looked to see if there were inbound ships.
When it took two months to go to Europe and two months to come back, knowing the ships were coming in the harbor. But the lighthouses were the ones that warned of razor rocks. It is a story of dangerous currents and other things not safe for ships. Shifting sand bars that a ship could suddenly find its forward momentum stopped as it the sand. Or during times of war, mines, and other obstructions. We walked up a hill in Portland ME to the observatory. But we spent a lot more time chasing the many lighthouses we went to. Over two days, we went to see five different lighthouses. One, we went by on the way to Peak Island. One we went to that is one of the most photographed US lighthouses. Two are inside of a park, and we didn’t go to the park instead going parallel to the park for pictures.
One is called Bug Light, which I didn’t get. Each of them protecting those who traveled. Protecting those on the path. During the revolutionary war between the US and English, the English Fleet destroyed the city of Portland ME. In rebuilding the city, there were additional lighthouses, and batteries of guns added to the shore. The memorial in the first two pictures to the men and women supported those shore guns. They were in operation until the end of WWII in 1945. Scanning the sea for ships on the way. In times of war, ships you didn’t know where coming are risky. Portland learned that once, and in rebuilding the city made sure that would never happen again (it hasn’t)!