The Maine Little River Lighthouse is a perfect example of a Victorian style light keeper’s tower. The structure that is standing today was completed in 1888, but was a replacement for the original structure built in 1847. It has a rich history, as many of the towers in the New England area do.
Built from heavy duty cast iron and lined with bricks, the tower rises up forty one feet in height. Today, the light beam flashes white every six seconds out over the Cutler Harbor. The keeper’s house which was built in 1888, the boathouse, built in 1881, and the oil house, built in 1905, are also still standing.
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For visitors who are so inclined, the inn keeper’s house is available to rent for overnight stays. In addition to touring the grounds, this would be a terrific way for history buffs to spend a relaxing and interesting trip. Visitors will enjoy beautiful views of the Grand Manan Island just across the water in Canada.
At one time, this particular tower was on the most endangered historical sites list in the state. Luckily, it was saved by donations from individuals and organizations. In 2002, it was transferred from federal to non-profit ownership.
Restoration efforts have brought the property back to good condition. It was deteriorating for many years and in need of serious maintenance at the time that it was transferred. Many residents of Cutler volunteered their time and money to repaint and make other small repairs to keep the structure standing and in decent condition.
A Fresnel lens was originally used for the light, but was removed in 1975 and replaced with an automatic light. At one point, the tower was dark for twenty years. The official relighting took place on October 2, 2001.
The best way to view the tower and surrounding buildings in person is from a private boat tour. It can’t be seen from the mainland, so this may be the only opportunity that a visitor would have to see it up close. A fog bell from the structure is currently on display in Cutler.
The small fishing town of Cutler has a population of about 800 residents today. It remains a charming, picturesque, and unspoiled area in New England. Visitors who want to gain a real appreciation for the beauty and history of this part of the country should certainly consider a stop at the Maine Little River Lighthouse.