Bear Island Light was established in 1839 and approved by President Martin Van Buren. The construction of the lighthouse cost $3000. The original lighthouse was a stone house with a tower on top. It burned in 1852, and in 1853 a brick tower was built at one end of the house. The current tower and keeper's dwelling was constructed in 1889. Its original optic was a fifth order Fresnel. This picture shows the island from the southwest, and the white triangular structure housed the bell, weighing 1000 lbs. This bell was tolled using a wind up system to warn seamen of the pending danger ahead.
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