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 an appropriation of $45,000.