A visit to West Quoddy Head Lighthouse is well worth the trip. This distinctive red-and-white candy-striped light tower makes this lighthouse one of the most frequently displayed as a part of calendars and on posters. The West Quoddy Head Lighthouse sits on the easternmost portion of the mainland of the United States.
The West Quoddy Head Lighthouse is a part of the colonial history of the United States. In 1806, then President Thomas Jefferson signed an order authorizing the construction of the lighthouse. Building began soon after and when it was completed in 1808, the lighthouse served to guide ships through the Quoddy Narrows, between Canada and the U.S. The original structure was replaced in 1858.
The building of 1858 is the one that stands on this point today. Well known for its trademark red-and white strips, the lighthouse is also the farthest eastern point of the United States mainland. The fifteen stripes were added not long after the structure was built and it is thought that the purpose of the stripping was to make the lighthouse tower stand out from the snow.
At one time, West Quoddy Head Lighthouse had a fog cannon to warn mariners of their nearness to the rocky shoreline. In 1820, the station received one of the nation's first fog bells. The signal was once described as sounding like a blast from a steam locomotive.
The lighthouse grounds are now part of Quoddy Head State Park. In 1998, the station became the property of the State of Maine. The beacon itself is still maintained by the United States Coast Guard.