Bird Island Lighthouse Light-keeper retires
Since 1991, Bradley, a former Marion Harbormaster, has been the principal preservationist in restoring the Lighthouse. After raising $123,000 for the restoration work, Bird Island Lighthouse was reactivated as a Private Aid to Navigation on July 4, 1997.
Bradley also noted the importance of the Lighthouse by stating, “A lot of fishermen use the light to guide them in when they’re out there after dark.” Marion is also a active sailing harbor with major events like the Marion to Bermuda yacht race.
Bradley hopes the future chairman of the Bird Island Preservation Society will raise the funds to maintain the Lighthouse.
A 29-feet high rubblestone Lighthouse was built to mark Bird Island Reef, Centerboard Shoal, and the entrance to Sippican Harbor when Marion was part of the town of Rochester. The Lighthouse was First Lit on Sep 1, 1819 by William S. Moore and exhibited a Revolving White light illuminated by ten oil lamps and 14-inch reflectors. The revolving illuminating apparatus exhibited a flash every 72 seconds.
According to a local Lighthouse Legend, the island and Lighthouse is haunted by the wife of the first Lighthouse keeper. Light-keeper William S. Moore was a pirate who was banished to Bird Island and he allegedly murdered his wife in the lighthouse according to local rumors. Other local residents believed he refused to take his wife to the mainland for medical care after she became ill. In both legends, Moore buried his wife on the island and disappeared. Later Light-keepers believed her ghost was “rapping at the door during the night.”
On June 15, 1933, Bird Island Light was decommissioned due to the new deployment of lighted buoys marking the main shipping channel to the Cape Cod Canal.
For more historical details of the Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.
For a Map Location of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of the Bird Island Lighthouse
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Bird Island Lighthouse in need of more renovations