I'm gonna continue where I left off in the last post on Portland Head light. Basically things that happened between Capt Freeman's time as a keeper and Capt Strout.
Barzillai Delano turned a lightkeeper house into something livable in early 19th century. It wasn't a water-soaked dump anymore. However the lights on Portland Head lighthouse were still pretty pretty bad. In 1850 new lantern and reflectors were installed. But it was still old tech compared to fresnel lenses that other new england lighthouses had. The house started to leak again, the woodwork started to rot, and the new keeper (John F Watts) was pretty bad as well. He "lived with hoards of rats" according to government audits. He also had no idea how to operate a lighthouse, so he had to hire a man to give him a 2 day crash-course. My least favorite rumor is that Watts only used to sound the foghorn for ships that paid him and ignored the rest. Watts was gone in 1853. Barzillai Delano's grandson (Ebenezer's son) James was a keeper between 1854-1861. Portland Head Light finally received a fresnel lens in 1955. The use of oil dropped from 220 gallons to 48 gallons per six-month period. Tower also received a new foghorn and was lined with brick. The instructions were clearly printed and explained so there wouldn't be another Watts fiasco. In 1865 the lighthouse was raised 20 feet and had a bigger lens installed for $20K due to the shipwreck (Bohemian) that killed 40 immigrants. After the improvements the Lighthouse Board wrote that "Portland Harbor was so completely lighted that navigation in and out is attended with little or no danger.”
This old tunnel was built to connect the house/castle to the horse stable so the horses could be tended to without bracing the elements. It was later use for bootlegging liquor. I simply can't get enough of this place.