Life saving station, Popham Beach, ca. 1910


The Hunnewell’s Beach life saving station was established in 1883 halfway down Riverside Beach. The station became the Popham Beach Coast Guard Station in 1935.

The lifesavers patrolled the beach almost to Morse’s River day and night, no matter what the weather. Someone was always on lookout duty in the tower. Many times the men rowed to the rescue of crew and passengers on vessels in distress. The lifeboat had no motor.

On George Popham Day each year, the station was open for public viewing at high tide. The men gave a presentation and demonstration with the lifeboats, the Lyle life gun, which threw lifelines, and the breeches buoy. A young boy was selected to ride in the breeches buoy.

Area residents were disappointed with the decision to close the Coast Guard Station in 1971. As of 2018 the station has been used as a bed and breakfast inn but remains a landmark for those at sea.

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