Joseph Berry built Hendricks Head Lighthouse in 1829 on the western edge of Southport Island to direct ships up the Sheepscot River to the Wiscasset Harbor shipyard. While most lighthouses make navigation easier for vessels, Hendricks Head did the opposite when it was first lit. I. W. P. Lewis, the famed American lighthouse designer, builder, and engineer, visited the lighthouse in 1842 and wrote about how similar it was to the nearby Burnt Island Lighthouse. This resemblance was actually causing more navigational trouble as several wrecks occurred due to confusion. Lewis recommended having the light at Hendricks Head switched from fixed to a reciprocating one.
In 1857, changes to the light occurred as a fifth-order Frensel lens was installed which would flash white every sixty seconds. But even after the light change, there was still confusion caused by Hendricks Head Lighthouse versus Burnt Island Lighthouse. In 1875, a new 39-foot brick tower was constructed to replace the older lighthouse. A keeper’s house, fog bell tower, shed, and oil house was also added to the lighthouse station. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933, but relit in 1951. It was sold in 1934 and has been used as a summer lighthouse ever since. A continuous light is lit showing white to the west and red to the east. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
- Originally constructed: 1829
- Current tower constructed: 1875
- First lit: 1875
- Construction: Brick
- Tower shape: Square
- Height: 39 feet
- Focal height: 43 feet
- Markings: White tower and black lantern
- Characteristic: Flashing white with red sector
- Range: White 9 nautical miles and red 7 nautical miles
- Status: Active
- NRHP number: 87002024
- Address: 42 Light House Lane
- Town: Southport
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: Lat 43.822587 Lng -69.6903025
- Parking notes: The lighthouse can be best viewed from Hendrick’s Head Beach located just a few hundred yards away. Parking at Hendrick’s Head Beach is free and the lot is located at the end of Beach Road.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE