The Portland Breakwater Light (also called Bug Light) is a small lighthouse in South Portland, Maine. The lighthouse's flashing red beacon helped guide ships from Casco Bay through the entrance to Portland Harbor.
The lighthouse was first built in 1855
, as a wooden structure, but the breakwater was extended and a new lighthouse was constructed at the end of it. The new lighthouse was made of curved cast-iron plates whose seams are disguised by six decorative Corinthian columns
. Its design was inspired by the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates
in Athens, made well-known by engravings. Wooden sheds and a six-room house for the lighthouse-keeper were added incrementally as needed. In 1934 Spring Point Ledge Light
was erected and the houses around Bug Light were demolished and the lighthouse keeper tended to both lighthouses. During World War II, the breakwater slowly receded, as the New England Shipbuilding Corporation
built two shipyards next to the lighthouse. These shipyards produced Liberty Ships
for the war effort. Because of the smaller breakwater, there was a lesser need for the lighthouse and subsequently was abandoned in 1943
This light is currently active as described. It was fully restored in 1989 and was reactivated in 2002. Today a park named after the lighthouse, Bug Light Park
, allows visitors to view the Portland Breakwater Light up close, while memorializing the shipbuilding
efforts of World War II
This article contains public domain text from Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, South Portland, Maine.
. HABS/HAER Highlights
. Retrieved on Dec 24., 2005.