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Cape Elizabeth is the home of Portland Head Light. Situated along the spectacular shores of Fort Williams Park, at 1000 Shore Road, the popular landmark is owned and managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Portland Head has long protected Portland and the adjacent area. Cape Elizabeth residents were deeply committed to American independence from British rule. In 1776, the new Town of Cape Elizabeth posted a guard of eight soldiers at Portland Head to warn citizens of coming British attacks.
In 1787, the General Court of Massachusetts (the Massachusetts legislature) provided $750 to begin construction of a lighthouse. In 1790, when the United States Government took over the responsibility of all lighthouses, Congress appropriated $1,500 for its completion. The original tower measured 72' from base to lantern deck and was lit with 16 whale oil lamps. It was first lit on January 10, 1791.
Construction of the first Keeper's Quarters began in 1790 as the result of a contract signed by Massachusetts Governor John Hancock. A one story dwelling built to replace the first keeper's house was erected in 1816. It measured 34' x 20' with two rooms, a cellar and a porch in the rear.
April 23rd, 2013
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