Lighthouse aficionados from around the country gathered in Rockland, Maine, to witness history in the making, as the new Maine Lighthouse Museum opened Phase 1 of its exhibits in a gala ceremony on the city’s waterfront.
As he cut the ribbon opening the new museum, Ken Black, “Mr. Lighthouse,” the man who started the collection that now constitutes most of the new museum’s collection, thanked the many lighthouse and community supporters for sharing the moment with him and helping him to “realize a dream come true.”
The collection of lighthouse lenses and other lighthouse equipment, which Black started back in the 1960s, was housed for many years in the Shore Village Museum on one of Rockland’s side streets. The old museum was cramped and crowded with artifacts and the new museum building will be spacious and allow for a better display of the artifacts, the largest collection of its kind in the nation. Black and others agreed that they would miss the old museum, saying, “After all, that’s where it all started, and that old building had a certain amount of character.” However, the new museum is something that Ken Black dreamt of for years, saying he always wanted to be better able to offer the public more interpretative displays so they would come away with a better understanding of our nation’s lighthouse history and heritage. “After all,” he said, “This is not just a collection of rare artifacts; it is a collection that will preserve the history of Maine’s lighthouses forever.”
Those who have already visited the museum have stated that photographs and stories will never do the museum justice, saying, “You really must see it, to believe it!” Many called it “Spectacular!”
However, the real story will unfold as Phase 2, which will be the final phase of the museum, begins to unfold over the next year when the rest of the rare artifacts and lenses will be uncrated and put on display.
One thing is for certain. A visit to Maine, or even New England for that matter, would not be complete without a visit to the new Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine.
To view more photographs and information on the new Maine Lighthouse Museum, visit www.LighthouseFoundation.org
This story appeared in the
August 2005 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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