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Built in 1807 by the sea captain-turned-entrepreneur Lemuel Moody, the Portland Observatory is the only standing maritime signal tower in the United States to date. The tower was built as a communication post for Portland?s busy harbour to guide and identify vessels of merchants who subscribed to the service of having their flags stored in the edifice and erected once their ships were spotted. The Observatory became a tourist attraction from the time it opened due to its unique features and advanced technology. Captain Moody used a powerful telescope at the top of the tower to spot incoming ships which can be seen as far away as 30 miles and a system called ?thermometrics? used to record weather conditions to be conveyed to the local seafarers and the weekly newspaper.

Having served the community for 200 years, the 86-foot tall, octagonal and lighthouse-shaped Portland observatory stopped operating in 1923 and has been owned by the City of Portland since 1937. A lot of restoration has been done to the Observatory to preserve it and now it is considered a National Historic Landmark.

Now Guided and Sunset Tours are being offered as you visit the Portland Observatory and can be rented out for small functions.
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