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Rockland - Camden

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Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

rockland breakwater light

Rockland, Maine
Built in 1888

Location:

Marking the entrance to Rockland Harbor, of Samoset Drive from Route 1. You can walk the nearly mile long jetty to explore around the lighthouse.

Latitude: 44° 06' 15" N
Longitude: 69° 04' 39" W

Historic Stories:

The lighthouse was built in 1888 to accommodate the heavy lime trade coming in and out of Rockland Harbor, and with other industries like fishing, granite quarrying, steamship transportation and ice harvesting, Rockland Harbor was becoming one of the busiest places on the Maine coast.

While creating the breakwater between 1881 and 1899, workers would erect a light at the end of each section of the breakwater they had finished. The final light and keeper's quarters were constructed at the end of the breakwater 7/8 of a mile out into the harbor. It was rebuilt in 1902.

In 1844, the ship Maine sailed out of Rockland Harbor with its load of lime. It never returned. However, three years later found on a vessel that had come into the harbor were a mahogany chest, ship's atlas, and navigation book belonging to the Maine. According to the Captain of the vessel, three Portuguese Sailors had left these items behind when they had jumped ship in Vera Cruz. No trace of the ship Maine or her crew was ever found.

The current lighthouse lantern stands nearly 40 feet above water and is visible for 17 miles.

In 1951, one former Coast Guardsman who was stationed at the lighthouse caught a 27-pound lobster off the breakwater.

The lighthouse was automated in 1965. Restoration efforts started in 1998 and most was completed in 2003.

 

New England Lighthouses

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

Take a walk along the unique 7/8-mile breakwater out to the lighthouse for a nice hike. You can join many who fish off the breakwater during high tide. There is a small park near the beginning of the breakwater, the Marie H. Reed Breakwater Park. The lighthouse is also part of the 5.5-mile Rockland Harbor Trail that also takes hikers through the city and some of its open spaces.

Tour boats and schooners from Rockland, Camden, and Rockport are available to take you around the lighthouses and nearby islands. The ferries from Rockland to Vinalhaven, and North Haven pass by the lighthouse. For those who want to experience life on a lobster boat, take a ride on Captain Jack’s Lobster Boat Adventure. For sailing on a private charter, Morning in Maine provides daily two-hour nature and historic sails aboard a 55-foot ketch, and there are deep sea fishing tours as well. Bufflehead Sailing Charters provides between one and eight hour cruises aboard a small 32-foot wooden gaff sloop, including lobster bakes and night sails.

In Rockland, visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum and observe Fresnel lenses and artifacts from nearby lighthouses, including the largest lens, hear foghorns and explore all kinds of lighthouse memorabilia (open early June to October). Tour the Farnsworth Art Museum. Home to over twenty galleries, Arts in Rocklandpromotes, each first Friday of the month, an “art walk” to explore these galleries. 

Rockland is a major music destination for may artists, especially those who love the blues. Each year in July, Rockland hosts the North Atlantic Blues Festival, and throughout the year top blues acts visit the Strand Theater, which also has all kinds of other musical, dabce, and theater acts during the year. 

 

Directions:

Contact Info:
Friends of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
P.O. Box 741
Rockland, Maine 04841
(207) 542-7574

 

Local Boat Tours and Windjammer Cruises

Boat cruises and ferries mentioned below may offer many types of cruises. They pass by Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse while entering and leaving Rockland Harbor. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises that provide close views of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, some will pass by the lighthouse as part of sailing charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, fishing tours, and other types of excursions. Weather is also a major factor in New England, especially on sailing excursions, so schooner windjammer cruises are dependent on sailing conditions that determine the route.

Captain Jack’s Lobster Tours
Provides close up views of Owl’s Head and Rockland Harbor Breakwater lighthouses on its lobstering tours.

1 Park Drive, Rockland ME 04841
Phone: (207) 542-6852

Lighthouses: Owl's Head, Rockland Breakwater.

 

 

Maine State Ferry Service
Ferry to Matinicus Island, Vinalhaven, and Northhaven. Passes by Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse while entering and leaving Rockland Harbor.
P.O. Box 645
517A Main Street
Rockland, Maine 04841-0645
Phone:. (207) 596-2202
1-800-491-4883

Ferry from Lincolnville to Islesboro
P.O. Box 214
Lincolnville, Maine 04849-0214
Phone:. (207) 789-5611

 

 

Camden Harbor Cruises
Provides 1-hour Lighthouse Lobster Tour from Camden, and a 3-hour Sunday Lighthouse Cruise aboard a classic wooden motor vessel, the Lively Lady.

16 Camden Public Landing,
Box 1315, Camden, ME 04843
Phone: (207) 236-6672

Lighthouses: Curtis Island, Indian Head, Owls Head, Browns Head, Rockland Breakwater

 

 

 

Windjammer Cruises Out of Rockand

Weather is a major factor in New England, so schooner windjammer cruises are dependent on sailing conditions that determine their route or that day, and may not pass by selected lighthouses, but the excitement and adventure they provide is well worth the trip. Many of these sail out of or come into Rockland Harbor and pass by Rockland Breakwater lighthouse. Windjammers that leave out of Rockland are listed below.

 

Schooner Heritage
The 145-foot Heritage offers 3-day to 6-day sails without a specific itinerary, but always passes by lighthouses and its captains are maritime historians.
P.O. Box 482, 5 Achorn Street, Rockland, ME 04841
Phone: (207) 594-8007 or (800) 648-4544

 

Schooner Victory Chimes
This is the only original three-masted schooner and has special 3 and 4-day sails including the Lighthouse Parade, Maine Humor, and Irish Music cruises.
P.O. Box 1401, Rockland, ME 04841
Phone: (800) 745-5651

 

Schooner Isaac H. Evans
This 99-foot schooner provides themed cruises like the week-long Old Salts and Maine Lighthouses Cruise. Designated as a National Historic Landmark.
P.O. Box 791, Rockland, ME 04841
Phone: (877) 238-1325

 

Schooner J. & E. Riggin
Built in 1927, this 120-foot two-masted schooner has special 3 and 4 day “Lighthouses and Lobsters” cruises.
136 Holmes Street, Rockland, ME 04841
Phone: (800) 869-0604

 

Schooner American Eagle
Sails on cruises of varying lengths, from two to nine days which include lighthouses and wildlife as part of every trip.
P.O. Box 482, 11 Front Street, Rockland, ME 04841
Phone: (207) 594-8007 or (800) 648-4544

 

Schooner Stephen Taber and Schooner Bowditch
Classic 140-year old schooner sails on one and multiple day cruises which include a “Lighthouse and Photography Cruise” featuring photography instruction with a local artist.  
Windjammer Wharf
P.O. Box 1050, Rockland, ME 04841
Phone: (207) 594-4723 or (800) 999-7352

 

 

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, 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 the coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, and contact info to plan your special vacations. You'll find over 360 images inside as well. I'll be happy to sign it for you here, or you'll find it in any fine online or traditional bookstore, or from the publisher.

There is a section for windjammer cruises and sailing tours to help you decide on taking one of these adventures. You'll also find a detailed story about the Flying Santa(s) who brought gifts to keepers and their families, which started in this region.

Look inside!

 

 

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