About This Location
Indian Island Light is a stunning lighthouse on the seven-acre Indian Island off Rockport, Maine. The lighthouse stands at the eastern entrance to Rockport Harbor which is a historic harbor known for shipbuilding and exportation of ice and lime. Funding for the lighthouse was provided by Congress in 1849 and the original lighthouse was constructed in 1850. The lighthouse is also referred to as Beauchamp Point Lighthouse due to its location off Beauchamp Point in Rockport.
Indian Island Lighthouse was only operational for a few years until its importance was questioned. In November 1857, the Lighthouse Board recommended that several Maine Lighthouses, including Indian Island Light be discontinued. The lighthouse board wrote, “Beauchamp Point light-house is situated two miles south of Negro Island light-house, in Penobscot bay. On account of its nearness to Negro Island light-house, it is of no use to the general navigation of the bay, and it is of but little use to the village near which it is situated, the commerce of which is small. Its discontinuance is respectfully recommended.” The Lighthouse Service decided to shut down Indian Island Lighthouse in 1859 along with Prospect Harbor Lighthouse and Kennebunk Lighthouse.
The station was justified in being reestablished by rising shipments of lime from Rockport, and Congress allocated $9,000 on June 23, 1874, to get the station back in operation. The Lighthouse Board made the decision to restore the walls and foundation, replace the woodwork on the historic one and a half story brick home, expand the living space with a frame addition 16 feet square, and build a brick lighthouse tower. On January 15, 1875, after the construction was finished, the light was put back into work.
Over the years, several repairs and upgrades were made at the lighthouse station. The retaining wall was rebuilt, a 150-foot-long boat dock was added, a wood house was constructed, and a stone oil house was added. A brand new fourth-order Fresnel lens was even added in 1902. Trade eventually started to decrease and technological advancements meant that Indian Island Lighthouse was no longer necessary to operate. In Septmber 1934, the lighthouse was declared as surplus government property and sold at auction to the Pattison family. The family continues to own the lighthouse today as a private residence.
If you want to see the lighthouse, the best way is from the water. You could potentially launch a kayak or paddleboat from Rockport Harbor and paddle out to see the lighthouse. Additionally, boat tours are offered. Visitors can opt for the Betselma sightseeing boat tour out of Camden, Maine which allows people to see Indian Island Lighthouse and Curtis Island Lighthouse up-close from the water.