CURTIS ISLAND LIGHT

The Curtis Island Light dates from 1836. The island and the lighthouse were originally called Negro Island and Negro Island Light until the 1930’s when the island and lighthouse were renamed Curtis Island and Curtis Island Light. This was to honor Cyrus H. Curtis, founder of Curtis Publishing Co., Philadelphia, PA. Curtis Publishing was known for the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines and newspapers. Cyrus Curtis was a prominent summer resident of Camden and was very generous in his support of the community.

The original lighthouse was built in 1835 and first lighted in 1836. The first keeper was H.K.M. Bowers. The present lighthouse tower dates from 1896. The keeper’s house and other station buildings date from 1899. The Curtis Island Light is still an active light and displays an occulting green light 52 feet above the water, and is visible 6 nautical miles. It had a fourth order optic until converted to solar power in 1994. The light was automated in 1972 and the last keeper withdrawn. Curtis Island is now owned by the town of Camden and is a municipal park. A family lives in the keeper’s house in the summer as caretakers. The lighthouse has been transferred to the town as part of the Maine Lights Program.

(Curtis Island as seen from atop Mount Battie, Camden, Maine)

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