Previous Light:
Grindle Point Light
Next Lighthouse:
Dice Head Light

Fort Point Lighthouse

Fort Point lighthouse

207 Lighthouse Road, Stockton Springs, Maine
Built in 1836


Location:

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

 

Historic Stories:

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.

early image of Fort Point light

Fort Point Light Vintage Image
Courtesy US Coast Guard

bell tower at Fort Point Light 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 story goes that when constructing the tower, a spiral staircase was located nearby in great condition, but the plans called for a square construction outside, so the government carpenter simply used the spiral staircase inside while keeping to the original square design for the tower.

The Fort Point Hotel was a luxury hotel constructed near the lighthouse in 1872 to bring wealthy tourists to the area. The hotel had such luxuries as running water, gaslights, stables, a bowling alley, and two dance pavilions. The hope was that it would rival Bar Harbor, but was unsuccessful and mysteriously burned to the ground four years later.

Because of its desirable location, the lighthouse had only four lucky keepers stationed there from the 1880’s into the 1930’s.

The light was automated in 1988. The lighthouse was leased to the Maine State Bureau of Parks and Land by the Coast Guard in 1989 and has since served as housing for the park supervisor. The deed to the lighthouse was transferred to the State of Maine in 1998 under the Maine Lights Program.

 

 

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.

explore the Fort Point lighthouse grounds Although the lighthouse is closed to the public, the state park supervisor 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 ofFort Pownall, a French fort built in 1759 during the French and Indian Wars.

Heading up Route 1 along the coast and following the Penobscot River, you’ll come upon two amazing architectural structures, the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory, and Fort Knox. Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory

Take a one-minute ride on the fastest elevator in northern New England, which will take you to the top of the tallest public bridge-observatory in the world. The observatory lies at the top of one of the bridge towers, a dizzying 420 feet high!

Before crossing the bridge, the Fort Knox Historic site is right nearby, and is one of the best-preserved fortifications on the New England seacoast. Fort Knox was established in 1844 to protect the Penobscot River valley. The bridge itself follows the same design as the Zakim Bridge in Boston, the road lies high above the Penobscot River at 135 feet above the river.

 

Directions:

Contact Info:
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


 

 

 

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 in northern New England, along with plenty of coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, with contact info to plan your special vacations.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and attractions

 

Back to Top