America’s first years have a historic connection with West Quoddy Head, Lubec, Maine and the United States Coast Guard. President George Washington organized the Revenue Cutter Service on August 4, 1790, commissioning Hopley Yeaton as its first officer. Yeaton, America’s first commissioned Naval officer, is the father of today’s United States Coast Guard. The Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Lifesaving Service in 1915 to create the United States Coast Guard.Carrying Place Cove Lifesaving Station 1905

In 1792,Yeaton was given command of the new Revenue Service Frigate “SCAMMEL”. After a few cruises, he astutely realized that Lubec was an active smuggling area. Early in his new career, Captain Yeaton moved to Eastport, soon purchasing land in North Lubec on North Lubec Road.Primarily concerned with smuggling and tax collection, Yeaton was also actively involved with maritime safety. In 1806 Captain Yeaton petitioned President Thomas Jefferson in 1806 to establish West Quoddy Light. The beacon still operates and is one of America’s first and most famous lighthouses. Captain Yeaton retired to his North Lubec farm and was buried there with his wife, Comfort Marshall Yeaton. A Mainer, Sumner Kimball was born in 1834 and entered Bowdoin College at16. Active in politics, he was appointed to the Treasury Department by President Abraham Lincoln at the beginning of the Civil War. In 1871, he became head of all government Life-Saving Stations. Realizing that more functional architecture was needed, Kimball overlooked the design and construction of twenty-five “1874–Type” Lifesaving Stations. The USLSS, with Kimball as General Superintendent, was officially established in 1878.West Quoddy Station 1917

One of the 1st classic 1874 Type Stations, Quoddy Head Life-Saving Station, was constructed during 1873-4 at Carrying Place Cove. Combining elements of Carpenter Gothic and Stick architectural styles, this Station housed surfmen and equipment well into the 20th century. The Station was located 1.5 miles west of West Quoddy Head Light overlooking Grand Manan, New Brunswick.

The Carrying Place Cove site enabled surfmen to look for shipwrecks on both the Atlantic coast to the south, and, in the north, Lubec Narrows, overlooking Campobello, New Brunswick. The Station’s distinct disadvantage was the necessity of hauling the surfboat over the dunes when a ship was in distress in the Lubec Narrows, particularly in the winter or when the 20’ tide was low, exposing acres of clamflats. In addition, the Lifesaving Station’s low elevation [about +10’-12’] was problematic for lookouts.In 1888, the Treasury Department purchased land for a future station site.West Quoddy Station 2001 This parcel was located about 0.75 miles from the West Quoddy Light on both sides of the road. The land on the north side (10 or so acres) included 5 acres on a flat knoll at an elevation of +100, for a new station. The 5 remaining acres dipped to the north where a boathouse would be built on the Bay. Property on the south side of the road included Quoddy Head’s highest peak, the best location for a planned lookout tower with a 360° of West Quoddy Head, the United States and Canada. Work commenced on the new Quoddy Head Station at its present site in 1917. Truly the 1st Life-saving Station, its official identity was Station 1 in District 1, built under directives of the newly formed 1915 U.S.Coast Guard.Quoddy Head is a Chatham Style station. In 1917, a enclosed, manned lookout was built on the peak and a small outbuilding was built [c1918] adjacent to the main Station. Later damaged by a fire, this outbuilding was immediately rebuilt, utilizing some burnt timbers in a different roof style.The old Carrying Place Cove Life-saving Station was destroyed by fire around 1928. In 1931, the US Light House Service [USLHS] merged with the Coast Guard to complete our modern Coast Guard organization. In the early 30’s a new, large boathouse was constructed overlooking the Lubec Narrows. It featured 3 large bays serviced by a 200’ marine railway with an engine driven winch.. Finally, a large cement block maintenance building was constructed adjacent to the west side of the Station about 1950.

The Coast Guard abandoned the Quoddy Station in 1971. The stewardship of the real estate came under the auspices of the General Service Administration. At this time, the Boatbuilding School of Eastport’s Washington County Technical College successfully petitioned for use of the Station. In 1981, the Boatbuilding School returned to larger facilities in Eastport.. The Station was then appropriated by Marine Mammal Rescue group. This organization abandoned it in the early 1990s. 10 acres and 4 buildings were acquired out of bankruptcy in the late 90’s. In May of 2000, the Station and 2 outbuildings on 5 acres were purchased. Restoration was completed in 2003.West Quoddy Station 2004

In 1975 Hopley Yeaton was exhumed from his North Lubec farm in a Coast Guard ceremony. Hopley Yeaton's remains were interred at the West Quoddy Light Station for 10 months. The USCG Barque “EAGLE” carried his remains from Lubec, Maine to the Coast Guard academy at New London, Connecticut. In May of 1976, Captain Yeaton, the “Father of the United States Coast Guard,” was re-interred with full honors in a crypt on a plaza in front of the Academy Chapel.

Captain Yeatons’ wife, Comfort Marshall Yeaton, still lies in the North Lubec farm cemetery alongside other family members. Sumner Kimball is buried in Augusta.


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Features The Quoddy Room for weddings and functions, Quoddy Store, reception and Office.


A private unit built as a 1849 Cape Cod lifesaving building is now available for rental now with 2 queen beds, gally kitchen and all.
WQS amenities. Fine views.


Effective June 1, 2009 a PASSPORT BOOK or PASSPORT CARD will be required to cross between the USA and CANADA.

[Lubec, Maine - Campobello, New Brunswick].

For Americans planning to go to Canada click here

Effective November 16, 2009 on Rt.1 above Milltown.
Yankee Magazine Editors' Choice
Quoddy Head Station - Best Coast Guard Rescue

Credit Bill Clark for rescuing the abandoned and deteriorating Quoddy Head Life-Saving Station, located within walking distance of the historic candy-striped West Quoddy Light.

The bluff top, ocean-view property now accommodates guests in an overnight cabin, four-apartment lodge, and four-bedroom Station House.