The original Fresnel lens that shone from a lighthouse in Maine for more than a century is missing, and officials hope the public can help solve the mystery of its disappearance.
Officials at the Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum in Port Clyde, Maine, said the Fresnel lens graced the tower from 1835 until 1971, when it was replaced by a barrel lens.
The Coast Guard then moved the old Fresnel lens to the Rockland Coast Guard Station on the pier, where it was on display until it mysteriously vanished in 1974.
“It is believed that the lens may still be in the Rockland, Maine vicinity,” museum officials said in a press release. “Anyone with information that may help to locate the lens, which is United States Coast Guard property, please contact United States Coast Guard Curator, Arlyn Danielson at A.S.Danielson@uscg.mil or Nat Lyon, Curator at Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org. No questions will be asked.”
“This would be an ideal opportunity for someone (or a family) to return a historically significant artifact to the community where it can be preserved for future generations and made accessible to the public for interpretive and educational purposes," the release said. "Any help the public can give in [locating] the lens is very much appreciated.”
The museum also announced that the 1970s Fresnel barrel lens (which had previously been on display at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland) has returned to the Marshall Point Lighthouse, and visitors will have a chance to see it in a new display next spring.
The Marshall Point Lighthouse is located on a rocky point at the end of the St. George peninsula, and the museum is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.