lighthouse Legendary Lighthouses
PBS Online
Lighthouse Depot

Legendary Lighthouses
is partially underwritten by a grant
from Lighthouse Depot.


The earliest lighthouses were simply bonfires built on hillsides to guide ships. The first light served the old world city of Alexandria in 285 B.C. The first American light came to life in 1716 at Boston Harbor.

This site explores the history, legends, lore and workings of lighthouses along American shorelines.

  • Discover how a special lens, called a "Fresnel" (pronounced: Fruh-nell) increases the power of a light and focuses it in one direction.
  • Read fascinating stories about individual lighthouses and how a 729 foot-long ship known as the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in just ten seconds.
  • View the dozens of pictures of lighthouses and the beautiful places where they stand and serve as symbols of an era whose time is still with us.
  • Explore the many links to lighthouse web sites around America and the world to learn more about these sentinels that have captured the hearts and minds of young and old alike.

Legendary Lighthouses II

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Legendary Lighthouses is co-produced by Driftwood Productions Inc. and WPSX-TV/Penn State
Executive Producer John Grant
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