Located at the entrance to Casco Bay, the Maine – Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse is often referred to as Two Lights. This stems from the fact that until 1924 there were two lighthouses at that location. Two lights were erected to help distinguish this navigational aid from the nearby Wood Island Light. The Eastern Tower is still in use while the westernmost tower was decommissioned.
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The current structure of Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse was built in 1874 to replace the original, rubble stone lighthouse that was constructed in 1828. The first steam-powered warning whistles in North America were installed here in 1869. Until recently, the lighthouse used a second-stage Fresnel lens. It was replaced with a VRB-25 that has a range of 15 nautical miles. The station became fully automated in 1963.
The Maine – Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse was built to aid mariners navigating the treacherous waters south of Portland Harbor. When the schooner Australia foundered on the rocks in January 1885, the lighthouse keeper, who received the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, made a daring, single-handed rescue of two crew members. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Marcus Hanna is named in his honor.
The nearby Two Lights State Park affords wonderful views of the surrounding area.