Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse

Brooklin, Maine
Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse, also known as Sand Island Light, has been a guiding beacon on Green Island off Brooklin, Maine, since 1857.
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About This Location

Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse, also known as Sand Island Light or Eggemoggin Light, has been a guiding beacon on Green Island off the coast of Brooklin, Maine, since its establishment in 1857. The lighthouse, with its intriguing history and picturesque surroundings, holds a significant place in the maritime heritage of the region.

Green Island, situated near the town of Brooklin, Maine, stands as a testament to the necessity of navigational aid in the mid-nineteenth century. At that time, the thriving lumber port of Ellsworth, on the Union River north of Blue Hill Bay, demanded a lighthouse to guide mariners into the southern entrance of the bay.

In 1855, Abraham Flye sold Green Island to the federal government for $150, paving the way for the establishment of the light station on the west side of the island in 1857. The lighthouse not only served as a guide for mariners entering the southern part of Blue Hill Bay but also assisted in navigating the eastern end of Eggemoggin Reach, connecting Penobscot Bay with Blue Hill Bay.

The original 1857 structure, a white cylindrical tower with an attached keeper’s residence, still stands near the current light. Over the years, the lighthouse underwent various enhancements, including the installation of a fourth-order Fresnel lens, which exhibited a fixed white light. A fog bell, operated by automatic striking machinery from 1900 onwards, further enhanced the navigational capabilities of the station.

The light station on Green Island was a self-sustaining community, with a brick passageway connecting the lighthouse to a wood-frame 1½-story Colonial Cape keeper’s house. Other buildings, including a barn, boathouse, and outhouse, were integral parts of the island’s infrastructure. An oil house was added in 1905, and a 1050-gallon cistern in the basement of the house collected rainwater, providing a reliable source of fresh water for the keeper and his family.

The keepers at the station, such as Roscoe Lopaus and Roscoe Chandler, demonstrated resilience and resourcefulness. They supplemented their food supplies through fishing and hunting, and unique communication methods, like a black suit hung outside a house on the mainland as a signal, were devised in the absence of a telephone.

In 1933, the lighthouse was discontinued, and replaced by an automatic light on a skeleton tower. The property changed hands over the years, with notable owners like Wilbur and Edith Trapp, who beautifully restored the house and other buildings in 1976.

Today, Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse offers a glimpse into the past, with the keeper’s house on Green Island providing a spectacular 360-degree view of Blue Hill Bay, Mount Desert Island, Eggemoggin Reach, and Deer Isle. While the lighthouse is not open to the public, the best views are from the water, with cruises offered by the Maine Environmental Research Institute from Town Dock on Naskeag Point in Brooklin. The property’s rich history and scenic location contribute to its enduring charm and significance in the maritime landscape of Maine.

Lighthouse Specs
  • Originally Constructed: 1857
  • Current Tower Constructed: 1935
  • First Lit: 1935 (current tower)
  • Construction: Steel
  • Tower Shape: Skeleton tower
  • Height: 21 feet
  • Focal Height: 25 feet
  • Markings: N/A
  • Characteristic: Flashing green every 4 seconds
  • Range: 5 nautical miles
  • Status: Active

Location

Address: Green Island, Brooklin, Maine
Place GPS Coordinates: 44.248833, -68.497972
Parking GPS Coordinates: 44.248833, -68.497972
Parking Notes: The lighthouse cannot be seen from the mainland. It is best to see by air or sea. Tours are available nearby.

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