Wood Island Lighthouse
Located in New England, Maine is a beautiful state full of history. I’ve visited there several times throughout the years because ancestors on my grandfather’s side are from upstate Maine. Wood Island Lighthouse is said to be haunted and is located in Saco Bay. This short video gives you an idea of what to expect if you visit this lighthouse. It’s haunted and many people who have toured the area have stories to tell. The lighthouse itself is 47 feet high and is conical in shape and currently painted white. Wood Island Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in the state and was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1988. Constructed in 1808 under the directive of President Thomas Jefferson, the tower rotted out by 1830 and was replaced by a granite tower in 1839. In 1858 the keeper’s dwelling was built and still stands to this day. The island hosts a small population of deer, Snowy Owls, Scooters and Loons.
According to historic records, a gruesome murder took place in the 1890’s followed by a suicide. A local squatter living on the west end of the island was involved in a fight. He was eventually located and confronted by a sheriff’s deputy who went to the squatter’s shack on the island. The squatter murdered the sheriff’s deputy and then tried to turn himself in to lighthouse keeper Thomas Orcutt. Orcutt was so alarmed that he turned the squatter away. The deputy was married and the father of three young children. The squatter killed himself out of guilt. Legend has it that the ghost of the murdered deputy still haunts the lighthouse. There are also reports of a crying woman and the spirits of others who roam the lighthouse. This location has been visited by paranormal investigative teams who have gathered quite a bit of supportive evidence.
A Cool Little Dog
Excerpted from St. Nicholas, Volume 47, Part 2 By Mary Mapes Dodge
Among the dogs whose names go down through the years, as a tribute to their wonderful sagacity, stands that of Sailor, the noted Scotch Collie of Wood Island, off the Coast of Maine. Sailor was not always a nautical canine, but was born on a Maine dairy-farm where his mother tended the cows. When but a two- months-old puppy, Sailor was brought to Wood Island by his new master, Thomas H. Orcutt, then keeper of the Wood Island Light.
Every one knows the intelligence of the Collie and of the patient care with which he guards the farmer’s cows and sheep; hut Sailor, deprived of these usual duties, turned his attention to other things.
On a platform on the outside of the lighthouse was a large bell, with which, by means of rope attached to the tongue, Mr. Orcutt was accustomed to salute all passing craft.
For a long time Sailor had seemed to take great interest in this almost hourly performance. One day, when Mr. Orcutt was busy at his work, he heard the bell ring. Surprised, he listened, and it sounded again—a clear, resonant peal. Mr. Orcutt hurried to the platform, and there stood Sailor, with the bell-rope in his mouth!
At first it was thought that Sailor’s ringing; of the bell was purely accidental, but when, some hours later, Mr. Orcutt started for the bell platform to salute a passing steamer, he found Sailor there! before him, vigorously pulling at the bell-rope.
From that day on, as long as he lived, Sailor rang the bell for every passing vessel which he saw, and in a very short time the captains who passed the island regularly became accustomed to seeing Sailor tugging at the bell-rope, and, one and all, they would send back hearty salutes to the “dog watch” of Wood Island Light.
Several years ago Sailor passed to his “dog- ish” reward, but his memory lives on in the hearts of his friends and his name is often on their lips.