Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2023

The Ram Island Lens Mystery

By Timothy Harrison


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A vintage image of Ram Island Lighthouse in ...

Sometime in the 1970s, around ten years after the lighthouse was automated, someone allegedly stole the 4th order Fresnel lens from the 1883 Ram Island Lighthouse in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. At least that’s what all the stories say about the lighthouse.

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The 4th order Fresnel lens from Ram Island ...

However, at some point the lens ended up on display at the Boothbay Region Historical Society Museum in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

Since the lens originally disappeared around 50 years ago, and then showed up on display at the museum sometime later, there might not be anyone around any longer who knows exactly all of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the lens and its reappearance.

For historical purposes, the full story should be told and preserved. For example: Who took the lens out of the tower and when? What happened to the lens after it was removed from the lighthouse? Was anyone arrested for the removal or theft of the lens? How and when did it end up on display at the museum?

Perhaps there is someone out there who has the answers.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2023 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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