Rare Lighthouse Photos Donated

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Postby Paul » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:46 pm

From MaineToday.com

Rare lighthouse photos donated

Anita Romleski of Forest Lake, Minnesota, has recently donated a number of rare photos to the American Lighthouse Foundation of her ancestor’s lives as keepers at Maine’s Libby Island and Little River lighthouses.

Anita found the photos while recently going through her mother’s, Doris Kilton Sprague belongings. Mrs. Sprague passed away this past March a just a few short days short of her 100th birthday.

Mrs. Sprague’s father Harold Kilton, served as a lighthouse keeper at Goose Rocks Lighthouse and on the Kennebec River’s Doubling Point Range Lights during the 1930s and 1940s, while her grandfather, Charles Kenney, served at Petit Manan Light from 1903 to 1905, Libby Island Light from 1905 to 1912, Little River Light from 1912 to 1921, Eagle Island in 1922, and St. Croix River Light from 1923 to 1930.

Tim Harrison, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, said, “These photos are like gold to us. Not only do they help tell the story of what lighthouse life was like in the days of the keepers and families, these photos can now be saved and preserved for future generations.” Some of the photos will go on display at the Museum of Lighthouse History in Wells.

Harrison continued by saying, “Romleski felt we would be the best stewards for the photographs. In 1998, Romleski sent us a story of her grandfather Harold Kilton’s life at the Doubling Point Range Lights with photos and in May 2001 we published her mother Doris Sprague’s memories of Charles Kenney’s life at Cutler’s Little River Lighthouse in Lighthouse Digest magazine.”

Harrison hopes that donations like this will encourage other Maine lighthouse families to step forward to donate other lighthouse keeper family photos to enable the non-profit lighthouse preservation group to save and preserve the photographs and memories for future generations.

The American Lighthouse Foundation’s Museum of Lighthouse History, on U. S. Rt. 1 in Wells, will hold its Grand Opening on National Lighthouse Day, August 7, at 11 am. Harrison said, “Governor John Baldacci will be on hand to cut the ribbon for the Grand Opening of our newly expanded museum. This shows the commitment many Mainer’s have in helping us to preserve our states lighthouse heritage.”
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