Summer Camp at a Lighthouse Boothbay region school children participated in summer camp sessions at the Burnt Island Light Station located in the entrance to Boothbay Harbor. Sponsored by generous donors to LENS, sixty children in grades 4-6 spent three days and one night learning about the island's natural and historical resources. Using the 5-acre island as an exceptional, outdoor classroom, participants were fully immersed in their own learning while exploring, discovering, and understanding the world around them. Camper Mackenzie T. stated, "It was the best experience that ever happened to me! While Shauna Y. exclaimed, "I will cherish these [...]
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Historic Information In the early 1800s, mariners involved in fishing and maritime trade were in need of a navigational aid to guide them safely in and out of the Sheepscot River. This commercially important waterway was their vital link between the Gulf of Maine and the inland port of Wiscasset, a town recognized at that time to be the busiest seaport north of Boston. Just fifteen miles upriver, a deep and sheltered harbor formed the hub of a prosperous trade center renowned for shipbuilding, lumber, and fish. Rough seas, frequent fog, and submerged ledges posed tremendous threats to [...]
Historic Information The Wood Island Life Saving Station built in 1908 housed brave “surfmen”, that were part of the US Life Saving Service (a forerunner of the US Coast Guard). They would wait with small rowing boats to go out to help mariners in distress in terrible conditions year round. In 2022, the nonprofit Wood Island Life Saving Station Association (WILSSA) took on the enormous task of rebuilding and accurately restoring the partially collapsed buildings. Learn about the history of the Wood Island Life Saving Station and about about the mission and accomplishments of a dedicated group of [...]
Keepers' Klippings Lighthouse Education & Nautical Studies has submitted it's first article to the Boothbay Register. At least once a month, we will pull from lighthouse keeper logbooks, newspaper articles, letters and other primary sources from Maine's keepers, beginning with the Boothbay Region's Lights. Available for your reading pleasure by clicking the links below. Article - Intro to Keepers' Klippings Article - A Day in the Life of a Lighthouse Keeper - Part I Biography of Keeper James A. McCobb Article - A Day in the Life of a Keeper - Part II Article - Unlocking Boothbay Harbor's Lighthouse History [...]
Historic Information For centuries, sheep were raised on uninhabited islands where they could roam freely without fencing and predators. After breeding season, the Ram Island was likely used to segregate male sheep from the ewes on neighboring Fisherman's Island, a mere 165 feet away. These two islands, and nearby Hypocrites ledges, were navigational hazards for vessels entering the easterly passage into Boothbay Harbor. Protests from local fishermen and ship captains resulted in the federal government purchasing Ram Island in 1837 for $195. However, construction of the lighthouse never took place until 1883 when President Chester A. Arthur approved [...]
Earth - The Blue Planet Planet Earth has been called the "Blue Planet" because a large portion of its surface is covered by water. On Earth, we take liquid water for granted, however, liquid water is a rare commodity in our solar system. In this activity from The Rocky Shore Curriculum, students will discover how much ocean covers the Earth’s surface. They will collect data while tossing an inflatable globe back and forth to each other. Students will then analyze their data and interpret the results. Download Watersheds A watershed is a land area that channels rainfall [...]
Aquatic Habitats The aquatic world is comprised of a variety of freshwater, saltwater, and brackish habitats. Besides the open ocean, marine habitats include: intertidal zones, sandy shores, rocky shores, salt marshes, estuaries, kelp forests, seagrasses, coral reefs and more, while freshwater habitats include: rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, swamps and more. Students should research and describe each habitat listed on the flow chart. Use their information and the attached habitat photo cards to identify each habitat. Aquatic Habitat Flow Chart Habitat Photo Cards #1 Habitat Photo Cards #2
Historic Information The federal government purchased the five-acre Burnt Island for $150 from Jacob Auld and Joseph McCobb. Located at the entrance to Boothbay Harbor, Burnt Island Lighthouse is Maine's oldest "original" tower because it has never been altered since its construction in 1821. The lighthouse is made from rough cut granite and is referred to as rubblestone. It is believed that the granite blocks were harvested from the cellar hole under the keeper's dwelling, a common practice instead of hauling building materials ashore. Even though it has withstood the test-of-time, a full restoration of the lighthouse, dwelling, [...]
Sailors' Valentine A sailors' valentine is a form of shell-craft usually purchased by a sailor to bring home for a loved one. Made of numerous small shells glued to an octagonal-shaped base, it has a symmetrical design composed of small sea shells of various colors glued onto the backing. Patterns often feature a centerpiece shell, sentimental message or photograph, hence the name sailor valentine. Download
Nautical Charts In this activity, students explore the importance of nautical charts to navigation on ocean waters. A chart of locations can be downloaded online or purchased at NOAA or marine supply stores along with navigational tools needed to plot a course. Students learn to read the chart's major features after becoming familiar with its symbols. After this activity, students should be able to: Identify major features and read the essential symbols and information provided on nautical charts. Describe how using the information provided on nautical charts can help find your location and navigate on water. Plot a safe course from [...]