Portland Head Light House in the Winter // Portland, Maine

February 10, 2021

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Happy Wednesday friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful week! It's been a good week at school and on Monday I was able to get my hair cut for the first time in months and it was lovely. Sometimes it is the small things isn't it? *smiles*

Today I am excited to share more about our New England Winter Road Trip that we took in February last year (prior to the outbreak of the COVID 19 virus and stay at home/shelter in place orders)! I had stopped sharing about this trip from last year due to the sensitivity of COVID, but for those around these areas there were so many things that we did that were outside that I wanted to continue to share in the hopes that this would inspire you to see the place around where you live and for others plan a trip for the future!
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As I mentioned in my last post about our trip, after our time in Concord, New Hampshire, we started to make our way through and up the coast of Maine which was absolutely delightful. I had stopped at a couple of the places we spent time at on my one week road trip adventure through New England, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia (click HERE to read more) back in 2017 and also on the New England/Canada Cruise that I took in 2015, but to have this time with my mom added a special precious aspect to the trip. 

After our time at Walker's Point Estate, we continued to head north to the Portland Head Light House! My mom had never been there and I was so excited to show it to her! This was my third time to the light house, but my first time in the winter and it was gorgeous and stunning!
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The Portland Head Light house is situated along the beautiful shores of Maine in Fort Williams Park in the town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. 
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On site is also a cute gift shop (which is seasonal) that features precious gifts and artwork related to the lighthouse and to Maine in general. There is also a museum that is on the property that is housed within the former Keeper of the Lighthouse Quarters. 
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If you are going to plan a visit around the lighthouse you can easily spend lots of time as you spend time at the lighthouse itself and then spend time in Fort Williams Park which offers lots of different historic fort structures, unlimited ocean views (from a variety of different directions), picnic facilities, and lots of different hiking trails. 
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The Portland Head Light House has a fantastic and interesting history. In 1776 the Town of Cape Elizabeth posted eight soldiers at Portland Head to warn the citizens of the town of the coming British soldiers and imminent attacks.
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Eleven years later, the Massachusetts legislature gave $750 to begin the construction of a lighthouse at the Portland Head location. Three years later, the US Government was given all responsibility to maintain and finance the lighthouses that were in the US at that point in time. Because the lighthouse was not yet completed, Congress appropriated $1500 for the completion of the Portland Head Light House and the original tower was completed in early 1791.
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In 1865 the original tower was raised by 20 feet and a Fresnel lens was installed (of which a portion can still be seen in the Portland Head Light Museum). Unfortunately a year later, there was a ship that struck the ledge of the Portland Head, but were helped to safety by the Light House keeper and his family (and volunteers). To this day the cause of the wreck remains a mystery as members of the crew say that they could clearly see the Portland Head Light before the disaster and visibility was not an issue. 
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The current Portland Head Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters (which is now the museum) was constructed in 1891 and was used to house the head and assistant lighthouse keepers and their families until 1989.
In August of 1989 the property was leased to the Town of Cape Elizabeth from the Unites States Government and in 1993 the property was officially deeded to the Town of Cape Elizabeth.
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While the Portland Head Light House is a traveler's dream to see, it is interesting to note that the United States Coast Guard maintains the actual light and the fog signal. 
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Having now had the opportunity to see the lighthouse in the cool autumn grey skies of fall and late summer days along with the winter, I have to say the winter was special in unique ways. There was just something about the sharp white walls against the beautiful blue ocean tones. 
Caravan SonnetHave y'all visited the Portland Head Light House before? If not, I definitely recommend adding it to your list of "must see" travel places! You won't regret it!

If you are interested in reading about the exact route that we took on this trip check out this post HERE! Here is a general overview...
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You can read all of the posts from the trip by clicking the links below: 
Maine


New Hampshire




General New England Winter Road Trip Information
// New England Winter Road Trip Introduction // 

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