The Nubble...... by Brenda Dow

By following a cart-track for a quarter of an hour one comes to the canal, a stone’s throw across, dividing the cape from the Nubble Rock. On the top of this bare crag the lighthouse-keeper’s dwelling and fog signal stand out bold and sharp against the blue sky. At the east, a clump of blanched ledges stretches off… This prospect comprises everything between Cape Ann and Cape Elizabeth in clear weather, and is every way admirable.

— Samuel Adams Drake, The Pine Tree Coast, 1891
The “Nubble” is a small, rocky island a short distance off the eastern point of Cape Neddick, about two miles north of the entrance to the York River and York Harbor. In 1602, explorer Bartholomew Gosnold met with local Indians on the island and dubbed it “Savage Rock.”
he placement of a lighthouse on the Nubble had been recommended by many local mariners since 1807. An 1837 proposal was rejected on the grounds that there were already enough lights in the vicinity. Even after the wreck of the bark Isidore in 1842, north of the Nubble near Bald Head Cliff, it still took nearly four more decades before the lighthouse was established. The Isidore, according to legend, still reappears as a ghost ship with a phantom crew.

Congress appropriated $15,000 for the building of a lighthouse on the Nubble in 1876. The 41-foot cast-iron tower, lined with brick, was first illuminated on July 1, 1879. At first, the lighthouse was painted reddish-brown, showing a fixed red light through a fourth order Fresnel lens.

The lighthouse still exhibits a red light, but the tower has been painted white since 1902.


The distinctive red oil house was built in 1902, and the walkway connecting the lighthouse to the keeper’s house was added in 1911.

The station originally had a fog bell operated by automatic striking machinery. The skeleton frame bell tower was replaced in 1911 by a white pyramidal tower, itself torn down in 1961.

For a time, the Nubble’s 3,000 pound fog bell could be heard by the keepers at Boon Island six miles away. The bell was later replaced by a diaphragm horn.
Nathaniel Otterson was the first keeper. His replacement, Brackett Lewis, formerly assistant keeper of Whaleback Light, was keeper from 1885 to 1904, the longest stint of any keeper at the Nubble. While Lewis was keeper, his daughter, Hattie, married Charles Billings in the lantern room.
The next keeper, William Brooks, previously at Boon Island and White Island, picked up extra cash by ferrying sightseers and fishermen to the island for ten cents apiece. This was not appreciated by Brooks’ superiors, and the keeper soon “resigned.”

At low tide it was sometimes possible to walk between the Nubble and the mainland. Lucy Glidden Burke Steffen, daughter of keeper James Burke, later described being carried piggy-back by her father across the bar.

Canon Rebel XTi
Canon lens 28-135
ISO 200
focal length: 75
Exposure time:1/1,000

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beach, lighthouse, atlantic, maine

The art of collecting the interesting and intriguing things of this world and bringing excitement of the possibility of “freezing” that moment in time are the reasons that my eyes have broadened to look under and over and in between the winds of the nights and the lights of the days…… Come walk beside me and we can be the “sunshine” for this season in time……….. just walk beside me…………..
aka Jazzy

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  • Vitta
    Vittaover 5 years ago

    Great work Brenda!! Pretty colors and composition!!

  • Hi Vitta, so nice to see your smiling face today!!!! Thank you for saying that this image is appreciated….. your comment makes my day!!!

    – Brenda Dow

  • Christie  Moses
    Christie Mosesover 5 years ago

    omgoodness, this is so beautiful :) I would live there in a minute xxx

  • Morning Christie my dear friend!!! What a great thing to say….. It is very cold out on the rock… but in the summer with the gulls and all it is a moment to remember….So nice to see you!!!! And thanks for stopping by!!!

    – Brenda Dow

  • Brenda Dow
    Brenda Dowover 5 years ago


  • John44
    John44over 5 years ago

    YES !
    This is a top score 360 degrees round
    Well done Lady B

  • Hahah… so this meets with your approval… phew…….So glad to have your grand comment John and a fav…. now I’m dancing… going to Niagara and I’m gonna get married…… I think that’s an old song… Oh ya… “it’s going to the chapel….”lolol :))) (this in reference to the mail order bride….lolol)
    Have a nice day young man!!!

    – Brenda Dow

  • John44
    John44over 5 years ago

  • Thank you John for adding this…. so appreciated!!!

    – Brenda Dow

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 5 years ago

    A wonderful image and super narative Jz. What a great lighthouse, super capture …

  • Tommy… I was thinking about you while I was compiling this presentation…..I thought, “what would Tommy do?” :))) And I know you read the whole thing… hope you watched the video also… if not, come on back!!!! Thanks for your wonderful support of this composition!!! I’m smiling toward Scotland!!!!!!

    – Brenda Dow

  • Maryann3
    Maryann3over 5 years ago

    Beautiful shot, Brenda. Love the little red house in the front.

  • thank you Maryann…. the little red house is for storing oil for the ships…. the whole area was so tidy and neat!!!! And the flag was blowing right out straight….. soooooo coooollllddddd!!!!
    thanks for stopping by…. I need to BMail you…See you girlfriend!!!

    – Brenda Dow

  • foppe47
    foppe47over 5 years ago

    excellent POV,

  • Hi handsome Foppe…. thanks for the vote on my POV…. so glad you like this!!!! Come to Maine… there are 100’s of lighthouses… we could do a Dutch Retreat here!!!!! lol……….

    – Brenda Dow

  • Lynne Morris
    Lynne Morrisover 5 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful capture Brenda.

  • Lynne, you are such a great friend… thank you for your always great responses to my work….. So nice to see your beautiful eyes here!!!! thanks again!!!

    – Brenda Dow

  • Yannik Hay
    Yannik Hayover 5 years ago

    An instant fav! Brenda, this is very well composed and executed. A photo you can be proud of.
    Also, many thx for your warm reply, it filled me with joy. All the best!

  • What a lovely thing to say Yan!!!! You are such an inspiration to me and others…. I am so glad you have joined us here….. I look forward to more of your beautiful pieces!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to come here today!!!
    Greetings from Maine…..

    – Brenda Dow

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