Two Bush Island Light is a beautiful lighthouse located on Two Bush Island at the southwestern entrance to Penobscot Bay, Maine. The lighthouse is named for the two bushes that stood on the island before the lighthouse was established. They were the original navigational daymarkers on the island.
The need for the lighthouse was sparked by local mariners and visitors of Penobscot Bay who had trouble navigating the area. After fundraising and negotiations were completed by the government, the construction of the lighthouse began on Two Bush Island. A stone foundation was laid and a 48-foot brick lighthouse was constructed upon it. Additionally, there was a double frame keeper’s house a few feet from the lighthouse along with a boathouse located on the shore. On November 10, 1897, the first flashes of the fifth-order Fresnel lens occurred. The light flashes white every five seconds.
The lighthouse proved to be a great addition to Penobscot Bay mariners. In 1902, the lighthouse rose to fame when the lightkeeper, Aldiverd A. Norton, and his heroic dog saved the crew of the fishing schooner Clara Bella. The schooner ran into rocks near Two Bush Island during a winter gale and luckily the dog, Smut, heard the crash. He ran to Norton and barked to alert him of the noise. Norton ran out of the keeper’s house and spotted the stranded captain and crewman. Norton was able to gain their attention and attach a rope to their dory to pull them ashore. Smut was extremely happy to have the men on the island and safe, he licked and hugged them profusely. The captain was so appreciative and loving of Smut that he offered the keeper any amount for the dog. Norton was not willing to sell his loyal companion at any price.
Two Bush Island Lighthouse continued operating for many decades and it received several repairs and updates over the years. When the light was automated in 1964, the keepers were eventually replaced. Following that, the keepers at nearby Whitehead Light Station monitored Two Bush Island’s light and fog signal. The keeper’s house was demolished as part of a U.S. Army Special Forces explosives exercise in 1970. The light was converted to solar power in the summer of 2000. The lighthouse was transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1998. The lighthouse itself is still used as a navigation aid, but it can only be seen by boat or from the air. It is not open to the public.
- Constructed: 1897
- First lit: 1897
- Construction: Brick
- Tower shape: Square
- Height: 42 feet (13 m)
- Focal height: 65 feet (20 m)
- Markings: White
- Characteristic: Flashing white light every 5 seconds (Fl W 5s) with R sector
- Range: White 21 nautical miles (39 km; 24 mi) & Red 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi)
- Status: Active
- Address: Two Bush Island
- Town: South Thomaston
- State: Maine
- GPS: Lat 43.96407 Lng -69.07395
- Parking notes: The lighthouse cannot be seen easily from the mainland. It is only viewable via boat or plane. The Monhegan Boat Line does offer a lighthouse cruise that stops to view Two Bush Island Lighthouse.
- Parking directions: N/A
- Location directions: HERE