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Eagle Island Lighthouse

eagle island light

Deer Isle, Maine
Built in 1839

Location:

Eagle Island is located in Penobscot Bay between Deer Isle and North Haven. You can take the mail boat out to photograph the lighthouse from the boat.

Latitude: 44° 13' 04" N
Longitude: 68° 46' 04" W

Historic Stories:

With the increasing lumbering traffic, Eagle Island Lighthouse was built in 1839 on the east end of the island to guide shipping traffic and fishing vessels toward the Penobscot River and on to Bangor, which had become America's leading lumber port in the mid-19th century.

Eagle Island Light 1856 Construction
Image Courtesy US Coast Guard

In 1857, with lumber supplies easily accessible, a wooden dwelling framed in hemlock and covered with clapboard pine replaced the original stone keeper's dwelling.

From 1883 to 1913 two generations, Keeper John Ball, and then his son Howard tended the light until Howard died in 1913 from pneumonia while helping guide a fishing vessel to safety.

The light was automated in 1959 and by 1964 all buildings except the tower were razed, leaving only the foundations behind, much against fierce opposition from the locals.

When trying to remove the giant 4,200-pound fog bell, the Coast Guard's demolition crew lost control of it and the bell slid down the cliff into the ocean. The crew didn't bother to spend the time to retrieve the bell. It was later hauled out by a local lobsterman and he towed it to nearby Great Spruce Head Island, where it still remains today.
eagle island bell

In 1998, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to a non-profit group, the Eagle Light Caretakers, under the Maine Lights Program.

 

New England Lighthouses

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

The town of Sunset is quite remote and shows you the quiet side of maine's coastal scene. There are lots of places to bike without worrying about too much traffic. Kayaking or canoeing around these areas provides plenty of opportunities to explore the many small islands that lie around this area's coastline.

Excursion trips around the islands are offered via the Eagle Island Mail Boat from Sunset, Maine. The boat will pass by the Eagle Island Lighthouse en route to delivering mail to several islands in the area. To make a reservation on the mail boat, call (207) 348-9316. The ride is about two hours and they are happy to give you enough time to take pictures of the lighthouse.

Coming back from the mail boat at the dock in Sunset, there is also a small public beach to relax and take a swim.

 

 

Directions to the Sunset Dock

Directions for a Distant View

 

Contact Info:
Eagle Light Caretakers
2742 Normandy Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30305

 

 

 

Local Boat Tours

Boat cruises mentioned below may offer many types of cruises that pass by Eagle Island Lighthouse. The mail boat passes by nearly every day. Some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, narrated wildlife and historic tours, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips ahead of time and to answer questions before you arrive at any of New England’s destinations. Enjoy!

 

Old Quarry Ocean Adventures
Lighthouse cruises offered.
130 Settlement Road
Stonington, Maine 04681
Phone: (207) 367-8977
info@oldquarry.com

 

 

Guided Island Tours
Specific tours to the islands.
Capt. Walt Reed
Deer Isle, Maine 04627
Phone: (207) 348-6789

 

 

Eagle Island Mail Boat
Passes close by the Eagle Island Lighthouse
Sunset Bay Company
Eagle Island
Sunset, ME, 04683.
Phone: (207) 348-9316

 

 

 

Scenic Flights

Penobscot Island Air
Chartering a variety of lighthouse viewing flights.
Knox County Regional Airport
Owls Head ME 04854
Phone: (207) 596-7500
Cellular: (207) 542-4944
Fax: (207) 596-6870
 info@penobscotislandair.net

 

 

 

My 300-page book (with over 360 images), Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, provides human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, along with plenty of coastal attractions and tours near each beacon.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and attractions

 

 

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