Where in Maine? Our Favorite Answer

Photo by Dave Waddell

Two Bush Island Light

Each month, Down East editors select our favorite response to “Where in Maine?” Here is our favorite letter from June’s photo.

Some years after Two Bush Island Light was automated, a branch of the federal government emptied the keeper’s house of its contents. I was about 12 years old and watched with morbid fascination from Whitehead Island as they threw all the appliances into the ocean. I did not witness it, but the government then blew up the house. Many years after that, my father had a conversation with Thornton Battie, who had spent many happy months on Two Bush as a child, living in the house that was detonated. When my father asked him about the house, Battie got quite choked up as he described what a beautiful house it was and how meticulously it was cared for. A few years later, when Whitehead Island Light was automated, the government went to a great deal of trouble to tear down one of the keeper’s houses. Fortunately, they did not tear down the duplex house, which now belongs to Pine Island Camp, a nonprofit summer camp whose campers have been enjoying Whitehead Island since 1957.

Ben Swan, Brunswick, Maine

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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