Hills beach is an oceanside community in Biddeford Maine. Portland is across the bay in the distance. The channel of the Saco river passes along the left end and offshore to the right are three islands. Closest and visible in many pictures is Basket island, home to about 10 summer cottages. Directly behind Basket island is Stage island, known locally as Monument island, nicknamed for the tall bobbin like 40 foot stone tower, actually an early navigation aid. The monument can be seen as the left most feature on the islands. Lastly and furthest away is Wood island, home to the Wood Island Lighthouse. From this property where I got to spend parts of my summers as a child and a number of off seasons (September through May) as a young adult in the early 1980s the 3 islands appear as one. As you might imagine I have many fond memories of this place. When I came across these old photos I decided to make them a part of this site, I hope you enjoy them. Each image below is a link to a larger copy,

These images may be copied for your personal enjoyment but may not be republished or distributed nor used in any fashion for personal gain without my expressed written permission.


Light Houses of Maine Maine Lighthouse Map & Guide Lighthouses of New England



This is a vintage shot of the Monument on Stage Island off the Coast of Biddeford. The island is know to many locals simply as "Monument Island. The monument is clearly visible as the left most structure behind Basket Island in many of these photographs.

The tower was ordered built as a navigation aid in 1825 by the United States Government. As ordered it was to be "a column or monument of undressed stone 60 feet high, having the base diameter to be 20 feet and the top diameter 4 feet; with a capstone of granite. It was to be rest on a foundation sunk into the ground as deep as necessary to make it secure.

When the monument reached a height of 54 feet it suddenly collapsed killing one of the builders. The surviving builders went on to build the structure that stands today. The tower is commonly said to stand 40 feet high and it unclear what the actual height is. For building the tower twice they received a sum of $1200.

Related Links
My "Half Moon Bay" Gallery
The Hills Beach Association
Wood Island Light History

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Created 12/02
Updated 2/07