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Baker Island Lighthouse

Baker Island lighthouse

Cranberry Islands, Maine
Built in 1828

 

Location:

South West entrance to Frenchman Bay. The lighthouse and grounds are closed to the public. Can barely be seen by boat as it is slowly being engulfed by the surrounding trees.

Latitude: 44° 14' 29" N
Longitude: 68° 11' 56" W

Historic Stories:

Baker Island is one of the five Cranberry Islands in Frenchman Bay.

The lighthouse was established in 1828 to guide mariners away from the sandbar and treacherous ledges located nearby.

early image Baker Island light woth no trees

Early Baker Island Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

The Gilley family owned the island in the early 1800’s and their son William became the lighthouse’s first Keeper in 1828. He was later removed over twenty years later for political reasons.The Keepers who came after Gilley’s removal found themselves harassed by his sons.

Legal battles ensued over the years between the government trying to remove the Gilley family from the island and the Gilley family claiming the island as theirs. The government finally was granted the right to keep the station and its surrounding grounds on the island, and the Gilley family was able to stay and keep the rest of the island.

During a fierce gale storm in November 1932, Keeper Joseph Muise’s wife went into labor. The assistant was on shore leave so Muise had to enlist the help of a lifesaving crew on a neighboring island to help bring his wife ashore as he could not leave his post. As they were heading for Northeast Harbor about 10 miles away, Mrs. Muise’s labor pains became more frequent. The men found themselves quickly donating their jackets and clothing and still two miles away from the mainland, helped to deliver a baby girl. Both mother and daughter were quickly attended to on the mainland and remained healthy.

The lighthouse was deactivated in 1955, and then reactivated in 1957 as an automatic unattended light for local mariners. The lighthouse was refurbished in 1989 and is now solar powered.

In the early 1990’s the Coast Guard announced it was going to deactivate the lighthouse because the surrounding trees were obscuring its view. Local mariners petitioned to leave it alone and the Coast Guard decided to leave the light as is, slowly being engulfed by the trees. The park service offers trips to the island and hikes to the lighthouse in the summer season.

 

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

The Acadia Park service offers a narrated cruise and natural history walk (hike) to Baker Island aboard the Islesford ferry from Northeast Harbor (which I missed). As you can see the lighthouse is nearly engulfed in the surrounding trees from the water's view. You'll also find the trees very close to the lighthouse as you take the hiking tour to the lighthouse.

The Islesford ferry, and the Beal and Bunker mailboat head out to the Cranberry Islands daily durng the summer months. Mailboats and ferries are the least expensive no frills way to get around the islands of Maine. Visit these islands and you’ll find yourself going back in time as little has changed over the years.

 

 

 

Local Boat Tours

Cruises mentioned below may offer many different types of cruises. Some may pass by Baker Island Lighthouse during sailing charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, while ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions.

 

Sea Princess Cruises
Narrated wildlife cruises.
Box 545
Mount Desert, ME 04660
Phone: (207) 276-5352


 

 

Islesford Ferry Terminal
Main Rd,
Cranberry Isles, ME 04625
Phone: (207) 244-5882

 

 

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
In addiition to whale watching, nature, and fishing excusions, they provide three cruises that involve lighthouses. A Puffin and Lighthouse cruise, a park ranger tour that includes exploring Baker Island lighthouse, and a Somes Sound and Lighthouse Tour.
1 West Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Phone: (207) 288-2386 or 1-888-WHALES-4
Email: info@barharborwhales.com

Lighthouses Egg Rock Light, Winter Harbor Light, Baker Island Light, Petit Manan Light, and Bear Island Light.

 

 

Acadian Boat Tours
Acadian Boat Tours, out of Bar Harbor, uses four boats and offers various nature, puffin, and fishing cruises, along with 3 special lighthouse tours each week, and National Park tour that explores Baker Island lighthouse.
119 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Email: seadawg47@gmail.com
Phone (207) 801-2300

Lighthouses: Egg Rock Light, Bear Island Light, Baker Island Light, Petit Manan Light, Winter Harbor Light

 

 

Cranberry Cove Ferry

Departs from the upper town dock at 110 Clark Point Rd in Southwest Harbor.

Phone: (207) 244-5882

 

 

Beal and Bunker Mailboat and Ferry

Year-round service to Great Cranberry, Little Cranberry, and, on request, Sutton Island, leaving from the Northeast Harbor town pier.

Northeast Harbor

Phone: (207) 244-3575

 

 

Schooner Mary Day
Windjammer sailing that included 4 and 6-day lighthouse cruises.
P.O. Box 798, Camden, Maine 04843
Phone: (800) 992-2218
captains@schoonermaryday.com

 

 

Scenic Flights

Scenic Flights of Acadia
Has special lighthouse cruises for visitors to have a unique aerial view of 6 beacons in the Acadia region, along with the landscape of Mount Desert Island of Acadia.

200 Main Street (ticket office)
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Phone: (207) 667-6527

1044 Bar Harbor Road | Route 3
Trenton, Maine 04605
Email: info@mainecoastalflight.com

 

 

 

My 300-page book (with over 360 images), Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, provides human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, along with plenty of coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, and contact info to plan your special trips.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and local coastal attractions

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