Wood Island Lighthouse book launch, an evening with author Richard Parsons

Wood Island Lighthouse book launch

An evening with author Richard Parsons

Watch the VIDEO of this presentation!

McArthur Library and Biddeford Historical Society invite you to join us for an evening with local author Richard Parsons on Saturday, June 25th at 7:00 p.m., celebrating the launch of “Wood Island Lighthouse: Stories from the edge of the sea” a book about one of Maine’s truly distinctive landmarks. The event will be held at the Biddeford Historical Society Meetinghouse, 7 Meetinghouse Road.

Wood Island Lighthouse is the fifth-oldest lighthouse in the state, and it has cast its beacon into the Gulf of Maine for more than two hundred years. Its myths and legends have passed through the generations as it set the scene for murders, suicides, shipwrecks, ghosts, heroism and even humorous events. The lighthouse keepers, their families and even their pets have helped shape a unique patchwork of history at this lonely outpost. Local historian and board member of the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse Richard Parsons reveals the fascinating human history behind this welcoming light.

Richard Parsons taught history and English for thirty years in public schools before joining the staff of the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University. There he worked with others to digitize resources held by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Library of Congress, among others, to make them available to scholars and educators. Later, as a member of the Center for Technology and School Change at Columbia University Teachers College, he worked with pre-service and in-service teachers to bring more effective uses of technology into the public school classroom. Today, he resides on the coast in southern Maine, where he gazes across the bay at the Wood Island Lighthouse nearly every day. He has joined with others who have devoted their energies to the restoration of America’s historic treasures and serves as historian and member of the executive board of the Friends of the Wood Island Lighthouse. He lives in Saco with his wife, Shari Robinson, and his dog, Donner.

Copies of “Wood Island Lighthouse: Stories from the edge of the sea” published by History Press,  will be available to purchase from Elements: Books Coffee Beer, 265 Main St in Biddeford (across from McArthur Library).

During the summer months, volunteers from The Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse lead boat rides tours from Biddeford Pool to Wood Island, where they've been working since 2003 to restore the lighthouse and keeper's home. The tours take roughly two hours and include the boat ride both ways, a walk along the island’s boardwalk and a visit to the grounds, dwelling and tower.

Hosted by: McArthur Library & Biddeford Historical Society

Any inquiries or questions about the event can be directed to:

Melanie Taylor Coombs
207-284-4181 ext. 218


Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with Refreshments

7:00 p.m. Lecture followed by Q&A


Please refer to our website and facebook page for future events.

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