Stockton Springs, Maine
Built in 1836
On the western side entrance of the Penobscot River, off Fort Point Road inside Fort Point State Park. Lighthouse buildings and tower are private residence, but the grounds are open to the public.
|Latitude: 44° 28' 02" N
Longitude: 68° 48' 42" W
A famous land and sea battle of disastrous proportions was fought here on August 14, 1799. Under the command of Colonel Paul Revere and Commodore Dudley Saltonstall, 43 American ships were sunk and scattered all over this area of Penobscot Bay, and 1,000 soldiers fled from a smaller force of British ships and troops.
With the booming lumber trade heading to Bangor, and increased shipping of Maine potatoes, there became the need for a lighthouse to guide traffic along the Penobscot River. Fort Point lighthouse, was built in 1836 under the presidency of Andrew Jackson, it was rebuilt in 1857. It stands 88 feet high above the sea. The unique bell tower is one of the few bell towers left in Maine, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The original fog bell house still exists.
The outside of the lighthouse is square while the inside contains brick interior lining and stairs going around in a circular pattern, making it the only unique structure of its type in Maine. The light was automated in 1988.
Because of its desirable location, the lighthouse had only four lucky keepers stationed there from the 1880’s into the 1930’s.
For stories of famous lighthouse events and folklore, check out my book showcasing over 40 stories titled “New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues, and Other Tales” published by Schiffer Books.
In the book, you'll find one of the stories involving the origin and heroic efforts of the "Flying Santa", Captain Wincapoaw, and later his assistant Edward Rowe Snow, who would drop off presents by airplane all along the Penobscot Bay area and later all over the country to rescue the hearts of isolated keepers and their families at many of the islands during Christmas.
Places to Visit Nearby:
This lighthouse is set in a quiet remote area atop a high point of land on the west side of the Penobscot River for some wonderful views. It resides within the small artist community of Searsport, which is also home of the Penobscot Marine Museum which includes eight historic buildings housing collections of marine art, artifacts, and maritime heritage. This historic town has plenty of specialty shops, restaurants, and antique shops to explore.
Although the lighthouse is closed to the public, a State Park employee and family occupies the Keeper’s dwelling all year and you can walk the lighthouse grounds. These people will let you take photographs of the lighthouse and its unique one of a kind fog bell house that still stands.
You can relax and picnic at Fort Point State Park, which is part of the lighthouse grounds, and walk along some of the short trails there. You can tour the nearby ruins of Fort Pownall, a French fort built in 1759 during the French and Indian Wars.
From US Route 1 in Camden go north through Belfast & Searsport.
North of Searsport, turn right at the Stockton Springs sign.
Take East Cape Road to Fort Point Rd, turn left at the park's entrance and continue to the park's parking area.
If the park gate is closed, continue on Fort Point road to the "Y" intersection and bear left at a large dirt parking lot and go past the entrance to Fort Point State Park.
Take the next left for a about a mile to a small dirt parking lot.
For those who are coming in by boat, there is a 200-foot pier at Stockton Springs available for visitors.
Fort Point State Park
Stockton Springs, Maine
c/o Bureau of Parks and Lands
106 Hogan Road
Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: (207) 941-4014 or (207) 567-3356
Local Sailing Lighthouse Tours
Sailing schooners mentioned below may offer many types of cruises, including specific lighthouse cruises that may pass by Fort Point Light. Weather is also a major factor in New England, especially on sailing excursions.
Schooner Angelique offers lighthouse and other windjammer tours in the area.
P.O. Box 736
Camden, Maine 04843-0736
Phone: (800) 282-9989