Cuckolds Lighthouse "Comes Ashore" at the Maine Lighthouse Museum
Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.
Cuckolds Lighthouse is one of Maine's most distinctive looking beacons but few people ever have a chance to admire this guiding light up close due to its offshore location near the entrance to Boothbay Harbor.
Thanks to the talents of a renowned lighthouse model builder and the efforts of the Cuckolds Fog Signal and Light Station Council, this has all changed. The isolated Cuckolds Lighthouse has now "come ashore" at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland for people to admire and understand.
The Cuckolds Lighthouse model, built by Don Perkins of Pocasset, Massachusetts, for the purpose of helping the Cuckolds Rescue Team to raise public awareness for their preservation project, is the newest temporary exhibit at the Museum.
"The Maine Lighthouse Museum is home to America's largest collection of Fresnel lenses and lighthouse artifacts, but the Museum is about much more than just history," said director Bob Trapani, Jr. "Part of the Museum's mission is to advocate for lighthouse preservation and to utilize its historic artifacts and exhibits in a manner that inspires others to get involved today in helping to save our nation's lighthouse heritage."
For Don Perkins, his latest creation has only served to add to the model-building legacy he has forged over the years - one lighthouse at a time. Perkins has built 29 lighthouse models overall, including Boon Island, Cape Neddick, Little River, Rockland Breakwater and Spring Point lights in Maine.
In some ways, Perkins' Cuckolds model might have been the most difficult to construct since it was the first one he created that was not in one piece. The Cuckolds model consists of multiple structures that required extra attention to detail. Perkins amazingly recreated the light station's original appearance with only the benefit of historic images to guide his talents.
"Most of all, I enjoy creating lighthouse models" said Perkins. "The initial reason for doing so was when I learned about the American Lighthouse Foundation and what the organization's preservation mission was all about."
Perkins went on to note, "I then decided to make models of lighthouses so that people could see what each lighthouse looked like, which hopefully would help make the public aware of why it is so important to save our lighthouses."
The Cuckolds Lighthouse, which is located off Cape Newagen on the approach to Boothbay Harbor, was originally established as a fog signal station in 1892. A light was added to the station in 1907, which remains an active aid to navigation.
The U.S. Coast Guard keeps the light flashing in the lighthouse but the Cuckolds Fog Signal and Light Station Council is the historic tower's steward and preservation lifeline for the future.
"Recognizing that people only protect what they love, and they only love what they understand, the Cuckolds Fog Signal and Light Station Council - a committed community leadership team working to restore, rebuild, preserve and protect the Cuckolds Lighthouse at the entrance to Boothbay Harbor - has created an exhibit on the Cuckolds Rescue that is now on exhibit at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, from January 19 through the end of July 2008," said Janet Reingold of the Cuckolds Rescue Team.
Reingold went on to say, "We hope that this display will help more people to learn about, understand, and become interested in this all-volunteer effort. When completed, the Cuckolds Lighthouse will be used to educate people about our maritime heritage; as a site for youth development programs in coastal navigation, marine safety, ocean sciences, and other topics; as a rugged destination for boaters, fishermen, kayakers, and a place for memorable life cycle events, from romantic seaside weddings and honeymoons, for burials at sea, and other gatherings."
Trapani concluded saying, "We hope the general public will stop by the Museum to view this fascinating model of Cuckolds Lighthouse, and at the same time, take a moment to learn more about the inspirational efforts of the volunteer Cuckolds Fog Signal and Light Station Council. This hardworking group is poised to write a new and exciting chapter in Maine's lighthouse history with their efforts to restore the offshore beacon."
The Cuckolds Lighthouse model can be viewed at the Maine Lighthouse Museum located at One Park Dr, Rockland , Wednesday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm through Memorial Day and then daily during the summer.