The city of Bath, Maine, on the Kennebec River, has long been known as the City of Ships. By 1800, Bath’s shipyards were producing vessels used in domestic and international trade. Doubling Point Lighthouse was established in 1898 on the northwest end of Arrowsic Island, at a sharp double bend in the Kennebec River, near the shipyards of Bath. It was one of several aids to navigation built on the river in the same year.
In 1935, the keeper’s house at Doubling Point was sold to a private owner. The keeper at the range light station a short distance away became responsible for both stations. Responsibility for looking after the light later went to the keeper at Squirrel Point Light Station in 1980. Beginning in the early 1980s, Doubling Point Light was again monitored from the Doubling Point Range Lights Station. It became the job of one keeper to look after the Range Lights, Doubling Point Light, and Squirrel Point Light, as well as their fog signals. For a few years, this job was performed by Coast Guard Boatswain Mate Karen McLean, one of a very small number of female Coast Guard lighthouse keepers.
This is part 1 of 2 parts. The guests in this episode are Karen and Dan McLean, who are now taking the lead roles in the Friends of Doubling Point Light organization. Also joining in the interview is Jim Spencer, founder of Friends of Doubling Point Light, and his wife Joyce. Jim and Joyce are the longtime owners and residents of the keeper’s house at Doubling Point. This episode is co-hosted by Bob Trapani, Jr., executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation.
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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.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org