Ram Island Ledge Light
Ram Island Ledge Light will move onto the tax rolls because of its pending sale from the federal government to a doctor from Windham.
The question is, which tax rolls?
According to the online auction site set up by the U.S. General Services Administration, the lighthouse is at the entrance to Portland Harbor, off Cape Elizabeth.
The site says its street address is “Cumberland County,” and the city is Cape Elizabeth.
That’s news to Cape Elizabeth’s town manager.
“We don’t believe it’s in Cape Elizabeth,” said Mike McGovern. “We believe it’s in the city of Portland.”
Portland’s tax assessor, Richard Blackburn, said McGovern is probably right.
“There have been some questions” about which municipality the lighthouse is in, Blackburn said, and those questions have never been answered.
Click for the rest of this story by Edward D. Murphy in the Portland Press Herald.
Posted in Maine, Outdoors, Politics and government
Tagged bidder, bidding, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland County, Dr. Jeffrey Florman, lighthouse, Portland Harbor, tax assessor, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. General Services Administration, Windham
Ram Island Ledge Light
An anonymous bidder has raised the stakes in what appears to be a three-way struggle for ownership of a historic lighthouse off the coast of Cape Elizabeth.
The $35,000 bid, made online Thursday by a party known only as “tugdocto,” cast doubt on a Maine-based organization’s effort to acquire Ram Island Ledge Light.
Robert Muller of Brunswick, executive director of the Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse Community, said his group must somehow raise $5,000 to $10,000 in the next day or two “to stay in the game” and put the lighthouse under public, locally based ownership.
“I really need to make up the gap with some large pledges,” he said.
Under federal rules, bidders have until 3 p.m. today to outbid tugdocto. Bids must be made in increments of at least $5,000.
If someone does outbid tugdocto today, the online auction will continue on to the next regular business day – Tuesday.
Click for the rest of the story by Dennis Hoey in the Portland Press Herald.
Anyone who wants to get more information or make a contribution can go to www.ramislandlighthouse.com, call (207) 956-0699 or e-mail Muller at bob@RamIslandLighthouse.com.
Posted in Environment, Maine, Outdoors
Tagged bidders, bidding, Cape Elizabeth, Keeper of the Lighthouse Membership deed, lighthouse, Maine coast, National Register of Historic Places, Ram Island Ledge Light, Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse Community, U.S. Coast Guard
Bidders drawn by the charm, desire to preserve Ram Island Ledge Light take a closer look at Casco Bay lighthouse
CASCO BAY – From his home in Cape Elizabeth, Scott Raspa can see Ram Island Ledge Light taking a pounding during nor’easters, or standing sentinel in calmer seas
On Thursday, the software consultant joined others on a Coast Guard vessel for a closer view of the lighthouse, about a mile northeast of Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. The visitors were registered bidders in a federal government auction of the five-story tower, which has helped mark the main channel to Portland Harbor since 1905.
Conserving the lighthouse was a common motive among the bidders. A couple of them also thought ownership of the lighthouse could dovetail with their business plans. One had a notion that it could serve as a bed and breakfast for adventurous types, but wasn’t yet certain what he would do. All seemed charmed by the prospect of owning a wind-swept lighthouse off Maine’s rocky coast.
The Coast Guard doesn’t have the budget to maintain all of the lighthouse towers that house navigational aids, which in this case consists of a light and a foghorn. Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, lighthouses are offered to groups such as local governments and nonprofits at no cost before being put up for auction. The Coast Guard continues to maintain the navigational aids in lighthouse towers that are sold.
Raspa likes the idea of being the owner of a nearby lighthouse, with all its mystery and history. He doesn’t yet have a concrete plan should that become the case.
“We were thinking about having cocktail parties there. I don’t know if that’s possible,” he said.
Click for the rest of the story by Ann S. Kim in the Portland Press Herald.
Portland Head Light.
The age of the lighthouse ended long ago as those majestic, romantic maritime sentinels were replaced by computerized, mechanized, galvanized contraptions that provide the same very necessary maritime warning system, but fall incredibly short in tradition and style.
Earlier today I posted a link to a Portland Press Herald story about the restoration efforts on the Wood Island light and an old University of Southern Maine classmate, Rick Redmond, passed along the website address for the Maine Lighthouse Museum.
Visiting that website got me thinking about the Portland Head Light, which I visited occasionally while attending the USM in the early 1980s. I have heard on more than one occasion that it is the most photographed lighthouse on the East Coast. I do not know how they measure that sort of thing. I even took a few photos of the lighthouse, so perhaps there is something to that claim. Most people will recognize the lighthouse. I think.
Anyway, going to the Portland Head Light was a fun way to take in a bit of history and to get an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean crashing onto the very roughed Maine coastline just below an incredible lighthouse and keepers’ quarters. Most often I would go with my friend Kelly Williams; she had a car and I was company for the drive from Gorham, where the USM residence halls were located. (The Portland campus was more of a commuter campus. It also was connected to the Gorham campus via a bus line operated or contracted by the university.)
Kelly and I also went to nearby Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth. For me, the Head Light was more impressive.
Going through the Portland Head Light entry on the website reminded me that he lighthouse had been commissioned by George Washington while Maine was still part of Massachusetts. Things are old in Maine. And seem to stand the test of time.
Perhaps we need more lighthouses with keepers and fewer computerized, mechanized, galvanized contraptions.