Cape Porpoise Harbor, Kennebunkport, Maine
Built in 1835
The lighthouse marks the entrance to Cape Porpoise Harbor on Goat Island.
|Latitude: 43° 21' 30" N
||Longitude: 70° 25' 30" W|
Goat Island Light was built to guide mariners into Cape Porpoise Harbor, which had become a busy fishing center. There were treacherous rocks and ledges near and around Goat Island, which continued to claim vessels, even with the lighthouse nearby, including a count of 46 boats between 1865 and 1920. Fortunately there were no deaths from these accidents due to the heroism of the keepers at Goat Island being able to rescue the survivors near the island.
In 1990, Goat Island Light became the last lighthouse in Maine to be automated due to the determination of the local community to keep it manned to avoid vandalism.
During the presidency of George H. W. Bush Sr., secret service agents lived at Goat Island to keep a watchful eye on the area when the President would visit his home in Kennebunkport.
The beacon is believed to be haunted by one of its recent caretakers, Dick Curtis, who apparently got caught in some rough waves, fell overboard and drowned in 2002. According to the caretaker who replaced Curtis after his death, items have gone missing and would eventually turn up on the kitchen table. The foghorn would go off without reason, even in broad daylight, and still went off when the power was disconnected.
Places to Visit:
In Kennebunk, visitors will find the most photographed house, near the center of town, and you can take a tour the Wedding Cake House, as part of the Maine Stay Inn, which also provides overnight lodging.
You can take a scenic ocean drive along Ocean Avenue and also get a nice view of the Bush compound at Walker’s Point, where you can sometimes catch George Bush Senior or family members on vacation there.
Kennebunkport (and Kennebunk next door) is an affluent community with its pristine Goose Rocks Beach, up scale restaurants, and many artists’ galleries and shops. Most of the shops are concentrated in an area called Dock Square, which outlines the Kennebec River.
Cape Porpoise as part of Kennebunkport, where the lighthouse is located, is a small quiet fishing and artist community where you can get fresh lobster right off the boats. The First Chance Whalewatch passes by Goat Island Lighthouse on their Lobster cruise.
For those who want to sail around the scenic coastline of the Kennebunk area, Pineapple Ketch Sailing offers a two-hour sail along the rugged southern Maine coast, including sunset excursions. For those who want to experience the bigger vessels, climb aboard the Schooner Eleanor for a two-hour sail down the historic Kennebunk River.
Driving Directions For a Distant View of
Goat Island Light
- From US Route 1 take Highway 9E through Kennebunkport.
- Bear right at the fork by the Cape Porpoise Post Office onto Wharf Street to the fishing pier where you can view the lighthouse from a distance.
Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 7028
Cape Porpoise, ME 04014
Phone: (207) 967-3465
My 300-page book (with over 360 images), Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, published by Schiffer Publishing, provides human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, along with plenty of coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, and contact info to plan your special trips. In the book you'll many more stories, and of course lots more attractions, than this website can provide.