Little Mark Island—about one acre in size—is in Maine’s Casco Bay, near the town of Harpswell. On the island is a 50-foot tall, stone, pyramidal tower that was built in 1827. It’s known as the Little Mark Island Monument. It wasn’t built as a lighthouse—it was originally intended to serve as a day beacon or day marker to aid local navigation. In 1927, a navigational light was added to the top of the tower.
This past May, it was announced that the unique structure would be available at no cost to a new steward, through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. This fall the select board of the town of Harpswell voted to approve a partnership with the Presumpscot Foundation to submit an application. The Presumpscot Foundation was founded by the entrepeneur and preservationist Ford Reiche, who has restored several historic properties including Halfway Rock Lighthouse in Casco Bay.
Ford Reiche is interviewed in this episode. Bob Trapani Jr., executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation and an expert on aids to navigation of all kinds, also takes part in the conversation.
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