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Browns Head Lighthouse

Browns Head lighthouse

Vinalhaven Island, Maine
Built in 1832


On the northwestern end of Vinalhaven Island in Penobscot Bay, off Crockett River Road. Grounds are open to the public but the tower is closed. Private residence.

Latitude: 44° 06' 42" N
Longitude: 68° 54' 36" W


Historic Stories:

Vinalhaven is part of a group of islands referred as the Fox Islands after the gray foxes that once lived there in abundance. Vinalhaven Island lies about 13 miles from Rockland. At one time, Vinalhaven Island was known for its rich resources of granite with its quarries and its lobster beds. Today this area still contains one of the largest lobster beds in the world.

Brown's Head lighthouse was built in 1832 to help guide mariners and passenger ships through the western entrance to what are now called the Fox Islands Thorofare. Originally constructed of rubble rock in 1832, the current lighthouse tower was reconstructed of bricks and mortar on a ledge foundation as is today.

Its location was always requested by keepers as an ideal place to raise their families. Browns Head light with ocean view of the bay

The first lighthouse keeper was M. A. Wooster and all keepers after him raised their single families to live at the site.

In 1987, Browns Head Light was among the last lighthouses in Maine to be automated. Today the town manger lives at the station.



Places to Visit Nearby:

From the wharf at Rockland you can take the Maine State Ferry out to Vinalhaven Island.

The lighthouse is now a private residence where the town manager lives, but the grounds are open to the public. Browns Head lighthouse above rocky shore

At the lighthouse site and along the shores you’ll find wonderful views of islands out in the harbor.

Vinalhaven Island is a large quiet island, predominantly a fishing community that offers plenty of small beaches to relax at and clear spring fed Booth’s and Lawson’s Quarries to swim in. The island lies about fifteen miles from the mainland and is the largest of the year round islands in Maine, with overnight accommodations for visitors. There are plenty of places to hike and picnic along Lane’s Island Preserve, along with various Vinalhaven town parks like Armbrust Hill, Grimes Park, Narrows Park, Isle-Au-Haut Mountain, Tip Toe Mountain, and Arey’s Neck Woods.

This is a very quiet community where visitors can relax and recharge.

For sailing excursions, Blue Yonder Sail Charters provide trips on a 40-foot sloop, the Tammy Norie, around the Vinalhaven and North Haven Islands and around Penobscot Bay.



Contact Info:
Vinalhaven Historical Society
P.O. Box 339
41 High St.
Vinalhaven, ME 04863
Phone: (207) 863-4410

Town Manager, Vinalhaven
PO Box 815
Vinalhaven, ME 04863
(207) 596-2202


Local Boat Tours

Boat cruises and ferries mentioned below may offer many types of cruises. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by Brown's Head Light as part of sailing charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions.


Camden Harbor Cruises
Provides 1-hour Lighthouse Lobster Tour from Camden, and a 3-hour Sunday Lighthouse Cruise aboard a classic wooden motor vessel, the Lively Lady.

16 Camden Public Landing,
Box 1315, Camden, ME 04843
Phone: (207) 236-6672

Lighthouses: Curtis Island, Indian Island, Owls Head, Browns Head, Rockland Breakwater



Maine State Ferry Service
Ferry to Matinicus Island, Vinalhaven, and Northhaven. From Vinalhaven Island you can drive or hike to the lighthouse.
P.O. Box 645
517A Main Street
Rockland, Maine 04841-0645
Phone:. (207) 596-2202

Ferry from Lincolnville to Islesboro
P.O. Box 214
Lincolnville, Maine 04849-0214
Phone: (207) 789-5611



Isle au Haut Boat Company
Daily mail boat trips to the island of Isle au Haut in the summer season, along with puffin cruises to Seal Island.
They offer a special annual 4-5 hour cruise during Maine's lighthouse weekend in September to see up to six lighthouses on Saturday: Isle au Haut Light, Mark Island Light, Goose Rocks Light, Brown's Head Light, Heron Neck Light, and if weather permits, Saddleback Ledge Light.

Isle au Haut Boat Services
P.O. Box 709
Stonington, ME 04681
Tel. (207) 367-5193



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