Watch Room

The watch room was functionally the nerve center of the lighthouse, the gateway to the “business end.” The watch room of Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse was the office from which the light and fog bell were tended.

The watch room as it appears today.

The watch room as it appears today.

The watch room and lantern room above were where the lighthouse reverted back to all-cast iron construction. The lower wall is lined with beaded wood wainscoting. A clamshell-style cast iron door led outside to a gallery where the keepers could maintain the exterior portion of the Stevens fog bell apparatus and do whatever maintenance might have been required on the bell. Opposite the doors was a narrow window that looked west toward the city of Portland. Beneath the window was a small cabinet where spare wicks and other supplies were likely stored.

Most of the floor space of the watch room was taken up by the clockwork of the Steven’s Fog Bell Apparatus. The clockwork took up most of the center of the floor, with a weight suspended on a cable beneath the clockwork that passed into the center support column. The keepers also had to avoid the smaller weight and cable from the lens clockwork that passed through the watch room from the lantern room above and into the assistant and head keepers’ quarters below. More information on the Steven’s fog bell apparatus can be found in the Fog Signal section of our web site.

Today, the watch room houses the electronic circuitry for the lantern and the electro-acoustic fog signal. The sensor for the fog signal is mounted in the former window and the small cabinet beneath the window is no longer there. The cast iron clamshell doors are gone, replaced with interior and exterior wooden doors. For many years the watch room housed the battery bank that served as the backup electrical source for the standby beacon mounted on top of the mast that extends above the lantern room on the upper gallery. That battery bank was moved into the basement when the solar panels were installed on the breakwater in 2010.

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