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Pumpkin Island Lighthouse

Pumpkin Island lighthouse

Little Deer Isle, Maine
Built in 1855


Off Route 15 on the northwestern entrance to Eggemoggin Reach.
Private residence.

Latitude: 44° 18' 33" N
Longitude: 68° 44' 33" W


Historic Stories:

Pumpkin Island Lighthouse was established in 1855 as a result of vessels carrying lumber and for increasing tourism to the area. The lighthouse had one of the earliest Fresnel lenses in Maine incorporated into its construction. It stands 28 feet high with a black lantern.

Its first keeper was John Chester Tibbetts, who owned the property and sold the island to the government. He went to sea as a young man, and became a ship captain. Tibbetts stayed at the lighthouse until 1861, and then ran a local store, served as postmaster, and also served as deacon of a local church nearby in the town of Brooklin.

During the Civil War at the Battle of Fredricksburg, Charles Babson was shot and had to have his leg amputated. During his recuperation one day, he didn’t move and was pronounced dead as word was sent out to his family about his demise. Hours later a nurse noticed one of his fingers moving, and with the help of a doctor, was able to revive him.

He was appointed keeper to Pumpkin Island Light and successfully tended the beacon with one good leg from 1870 to 1902.

early image of Pumpkin Island light

Early Pumpkin Island Light
Courtesy of US Coast Guard

Keeper Charles Newman was kept busy assisting those in distress with the popular powerboats used in the 1920s. In 1920, he towed the disabled powerboat Ark to the station and helped repair its engine. In 1922 he rescued two ladies and two children who were set adrift in their disabled powerboat, and in 1923 he put out a fire on another powerboat. He requested and was provided a telephone to call for help in case of emergencies. The reason for his request began in the winter of 1922, when the bay was frozen over, he fell into a hole in the ice and nearly froze to death, as help was unavailable due to the beacon’s very rural location. He had to put the telephone in at his own expense but was happy to oblige to stay connected.



Places to Visit Nearby:

Pumpkin Island Lighthouse is located near Little Deer Isle. Pumpkin Island light at dusk

Little Deer Isle is actually part of the town of Deer Isle, where visitors will find little has changed over the last 50 years. There are numerous fishing villages all around this area of islands with lobstering and fishing as the main source of the economy. Because of its quaint untouched beauty, many artists and photographers live here and tourists from all over have found their niche in Deer Island and the area.

There are a number of historic B&B's around his area to enjoy some real Maine hospitality.

There is also Causeway Beach, a little sandy beach open to the public free on a hot day. You can also find plenty of places to canoe or kayak around the many islands that surround this area.

Check out Nervous Nellie’s Jams and Jellies. Not only can you get great tasting jams, but also pottery, nervous Nellie story episode books, and birdhouses among other gift items. While you’re there, explore the bazarre town of Nellieville, an ongoing growing creation by owner Peter Beerits. It consists of a series of buidings and interesting art sculptures made of industrial scrap, wood, and all kinds of materials. Not just your typical store.




Pumpkin Island light in black and white


Books to Explore

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available in bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

New Book!

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships:
Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted Coal Schooners of New England

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field!

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships.



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 the northeast, 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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