Winter Harbor Lighthouse


Winter Harbor Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in Winter Harbor, Maine. The lighthouse was built in 1856 and is situated on Mark Island, overlooking the Mount Desert Narrows. The need for the lighthouse became clear as many mariners were struggling to navigate the narrows. During the 1850s, Congress allotted the funds necessary to establish a light station along the Mount Desert Narrows near the entrance to Frenchman Bay. The light station went into operation on January 1, 1857 and it featured a 19 foot, cylindrical white brick tower equipped with a fifth-order Fresnel lens. There was also a small dwelling for the light keeper.

Over the years, many changes occurred at the station as things required repairs, additions became necessary, and new technologies were introduced. In 1876, the old dwelling on the island was replaced with a new one-and-a-half story home. In 1878, a boathouse was added to the light station to make it easy for people to arrive and depart. In 1905, an oil house was built. The tower remained in good condition over the years and old required a few coats of paint along with other minor repairs. 

In August of 1933, the lighthouse was taken out of service and it was replaced by a lighted bell buoy placed nearby. The lighthouse auctioned off in 1934 and a man from Bar Harbor purchased it for $552. and it was auctioned off. Today, it is no longer a navigational aid and it is privately owned.

On February 1, 1988, the lighthouse was honored by being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The significance of a lighthouse registered on the National Register of Historic Places is immense. It is an indication that the lighthouse has been deemed an important part of the cultural history of the United States. It is an acknowledgement of the lighthouse’s historical and architectural significance, and its role in the nation’s maritime history. It also serves as a reminder of the rich maritime heritage of the nation, and the importance of preserving our historical sites for future generations to enjoy. Furthermore, listing a lighthouse on the National Register of Historic Places can help to preserve it for future generations, as it will be eligible for federal and state protection and assistance. Winter Harbor Lighthouse’s NRHP reference number is 87002538.

The lighthouse is truly an iconic spot in Maine. It has become a must-see tourist attraction for many tourists. It’s especially sought out by photographers and history enthusiasts. It is amazing to think that the lighthouse has been sitting on the island for over 120+ years! The lighthouse can be best viewed from the western shoreside of the Schoodic Peninsula which is park of Acadia National Park. It can also be seen from Grindstone Point in Winter Harbor. It is about a half-mile from shore, so a zoom lens is required for photographers seeking to capture the lighthouse.

If you do view the waterfall from the Schoodic Peninsula, be sure to check out Raven’s Nest in Acadia National Park too!


Lighthouse Specs

  • Year constructed: 1856
  • First lit: 1857
  • Construction: Brick
  • Tower shape: Cylindrical 
  • Height: 19 feet
  • Focal height: 37 feet
  • Markings: White tower topped with a black lantern
  • Characteristic: N/A
  • Range: N/A
  • Status: Deactivated since 1933
  • NRHP number: 87002538


  • Address: Schoodic Loop Road
  • Town: Winter Harbor
  • State: Maine
  • GPS: Lat 44.3614444 Lng -68.0876389
  • Parking notes: The lighthouse is located about a half-mile off Schoodic Loop Road in Winter Harbor, Maine. There is a small pullover area where visitors can park and enjoy views of the lighthouse. 
  • Parking directions: HERE
  • Location directions: HERE


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