Sailor, family dog, Wood Island Lighthouse, ca. 1903

Contributed by Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse


Sailor lived on Wood Island off the coast of Biddeford near the entrance to the Saco River.

Sailor lived with the five Orcutt children, whose father, Thomas Henry Orcutt, was the lighthouse keeper.

He had many duties, including ringing the big fog bell during low visibililty so that mariners would be made aware of their proximity to the island. Sailor found another use for this bell. When ships passed close by and gave a toot on their horns, Sailor ran out to the fog bell tower and grabbed the rope attached to the clapper in this teeth.

He gave a mighty pull, sending an answering message to the people at sea. Some news reports indicated that Sailor always gave three rings in his answering salute.

This activity made him very popular both near and far. His tale was told in newspapers all the way to Wisconsin.

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About This Item

  • Title: Sailor, family dog, Wood Island Lighthouse, ca. 1903
  • Creator: Orcutt Family
  • Creation Date: circa 1903
  • Subject Date: circa 1903
  • Location: Biddeford, York County, ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 10 cm x 14 cm
  • Collection: Private collection of Bob and Judy Orcutt
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse
PO Box 26, Biddeford Pool, ME 04006
(207) 286-3229

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