In this episode host Jeremy D’Entremont interviews Eric and Fran Chetwynd of the Swans Island Lighthouse Committee in Maine about the restoration of the 1872 Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse. The still-active automated light is still maintained by Coast Guard aids to navigation personnel, while the light station became the property of the Town of Swans Island in 1994. The second floor of the keeper’s house is available for rent. The island is about six miles south of Mount Desert Island and is accessible by ferry from Bass Harbor.
Jeremy also interviews Kim Sanborn, director of the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum — a gem of a small museum packed with fascinating artifacts, including a number of items related to lighthouses. Kittery is the oldest town in Maine (1647).
In the history segment, Jeremy and co-host Michelle Jewell Shaw relate the saga of longtime Rhode Island light keeper Horace Arnold. In 1875, Arnold was at the dwelling at Conimicut Lighthouse with his young son when drifting ice smashed into the structure. The Arnolds were lucky to escape with their lives as the house broke apart.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.”