Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Once the site of American soldiers on watch for British troops, the headland at Cape Elizabeth, Maine got a more permanent lookout when George Washington requested a lighthouse be built for the spot. First lit in 1791 (with the keepers’ house we see here added exactly 100 years later in 1891), Portland Head is the oldest lighthouse in Maine, a state packed with them.
Essential for maritime safety, the lighthouse was also a strategic military defense for Portland Harbor as recently as World War II. Portland Head Light was fully automated in 1989 and its keepers’ house is now a maritime museum.
Point Pinos Lighthouse in Monterey, California
Point Pinos Lighthouse was built and lit in 1855 to help guide ships along the rocky coastline. The original lens is still sitting in the lighthouse to this day. When the lighthouse began it used whale oil to keep the light lit.