Disposable Camera Tour
Republic of Boon Island
Maine Declares Itself
a Sovereign Nation
It was the wackiest three-hour tour since Gilligan
visited his island. A boatload of journalists and lighthouse lovers
cruised aboard the MV Thomas Laighton to barren Boon Island off the
coast of Southern Maine.
The tallest lighthouse in Maine is an accident
waiting to happen. The 19th century lighthouse tower, the
tallest in Maine, is taking a beating from wind, water, salt and
sun. No one wants to pay the restoration and
maintenance costs, not the feds, the coast guard, the state of
Maine or the towns of Kittery or York.
So the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF) has come
to the rescue and leased the island. ALF declared the island a
soverign nation. Since no one lives on the 300 x 700 foot rock,
there are no taxes to collect. So to raise funds, ALF is selling off
its political offices. $100,000 gets you the Presidency, and there
are lot of openings.
On April 1, 2003 journalsts watched as the leaders
of ALF, dressed in antique military costumes, read a declaration of
indendence. ALF President Tim Harrison played the part of Boon's
Regent Lord Master. Visitors on the cruise ship pledged an oath to
Boon Island, got a free lunch and bought souvenirs. As the ship
curcled Boon Island former lighthous keepers posed on the deck and
reminsced about life on the bleak offshore station. It
was a wacky cruise with a serious message. Boon Island has begun a
new chapter in its history. --- JDR
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