Grindle Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse in Islesboro, Maine, marking the west entrance to Gilkey Harbor at the island’s westernmost point. The harbor, which has easy access and deep water and is regarded as one of the best in Maine, was named after John Gilkey, a settler who arrived in 1772.
The United States Navy authorized the light station in 1849, and the first tower and keeper’s house were finished the following year. This first station was not well-built and in 1874, the brick structures were deemed unsalvageable. The current station was built in 1874 on the foundation of the old one. The lighthouse is a square tower made of brick that stands 39 feet tall. It is white with a black lantern. Future additions to the station included a new boathouse in 1886, a brick cistern and stone retaining wall in 1887, a rebuilt 16×24 feet barn in 1892, and a new oil shed (which still stands) in 1905. A hand-rung, 1,000-pound fog bell was installed on the grounds in 1897.
As early as 1923, the US Coast Guard planned to automate the light. Following public opposition, the Coast Guard installed a new light on a nearby steel tower in 1934. The town of Islesboro purchased the old lighthouse tower and building for $1,200 and turned them into the Sailors’ Memorial Museum. The Coast Guard re-established the light in 1987, following significant public pressure. Also in 1987, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Grindle Point Lighthouse is located just west of Ferry Road, near the wharf that serves the ferry that connects Islesboro to the mainland at Lincolnville. The lighthouse keeper’s dwelling is now home to the Grindel Point Sailor’s Museum, and the lighthouse tower is open for tours during the summer.
Looking for more awesome spots nearby? Check out the GoXplr Maine Map at goxplr.com/map/maine
- Originally constructed: 1850
- Current tower constructed: 1874
- First lit: 1874 (current structure)
- Construction: Brick
- Tower shape: Square pyramid
- Height: 39 feet (12 m)
- Focal height: 39 feet (12 m)
- Markings: White
- Characteristic: Flashing green light every 4 seconds (Fl G 4s)
- Range: 4 nautical miles (7.4 km; 4.6 mi)
- Status: Active
- NRHP number: 87000427
- Address: 615 Ferry Rd
- Town: Islesboro
- State: Maine
- GPS: Lat 44.28182 Lng -68.94283
- Parking notes: There is no way to drive to the lighthouse unless you have a car on Isleboro. The lighthouse is conveniently located right near the Isleboro Ferry Terminal. There are a few free parking spaces located on the side of Ferry Road.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE