Prospect Harbor Lighthouse

Description

Prospect Harbor Lighthouse sits beautifully perched on a shallow rocky peninsula at the entrance to Prospect Harbor in Maine. The lighthouse station consists of a conical tower and a detached keeper’s house. There is a stone gable roofed oil house a short distance to the north.

Prospect Harbor went into operation in 1850 after Congress authorized the project in 1847. The lighthouse originally consisted of a granite conical tower and a granite keeper home. The lighthouse helped vessels navigate in and out of Prospect Harbor and it served as a marker for boats going by. Ultimately though, the need for the lighthouse was questioned by Congress after just about a decade. They wondering if a lighthouse was truly necessary for Prospect Harbor considering it only had a small number of boats, little trade, and it was not used as a harbor of refuge. In 1859, the lighthouse was discontinued. 

After a decade of being turned off, the lighthouse was renovated, repaired, and re-lit in 1870. Congress believe it was in the best interest of everyone for the lighthouse to once again aid ships in and out of Prospect Harbor. Despite the repairs in 1870, the condition of the granite lighthouse deteriorated over the years. A new wooden conical tower was built in 1891 to replace the prior tower. Additionally, a new barn, dwelling, oil house, boathouse, and boat slip were added in the 1890s. 

In May 2000, the Coast Guard was facing budget cuts and the government was considering closing and selling Prospect Harbor Lighthouse. Thankfully, the Coast Guard was able to transfer the lighthouse to the American Lighthouse Foundation to be the steward of the structures while the Coast Guard continues its operations. The American Lighthouse Foundation has completed significant repairs to the property over the years. 

Visitors of Prospect Harbor Lighthouse can see the lighthouse from the shore but are not able to get up close to it. The Navy Base adjacent to the lighthouse has gates and blocks off all access to the peninsula. There are sailing tours and plane rides that allow visitors to get different looks at the lighthouse. 

 

Lighthouse Specs

  • Originally constructed: 1850 
  • Current tower constructed: 1891 (current structure)
  • First lit: 1891 (current structure)
  • Construction: Wood 
  • Tower shape: Conical Tower
  • Height: 38 feet
  • Focal height: 42 feet
  • Markings: White
  • Characteristic: Red light flashing once every 6 seconds with two white sectors (R 6s with 2 W sectors)
  • Range: 9 nautical miles 
  • Status: Active
  • NRHP number: 88000151

Location

  • Address: 190 Lighthouse Point Road
  • Town: Prospect Harbor
  • State: Maine
  • GPS: Lat 44.403307 Lng -68.012914
  • Parking notes: The lighthouse is located within a naval station that is often closed off via a gate. It is best to pull over along Lighthouse Point Road to view the lighthouse from about a hundred yards away. There is also a dirt parking area on Main Street which can be used to view the lighthouse across the Inner Harbor.
  • Parking directions: HERE
  • Location directions: HERE

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