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Franklin Island Lighthouse

Franklin Island lighthouse

Franklin Island, Muscongus Bay, Maine
Built in 1807


Franklin Island Light is located near Tenant's Harbor in Maine's Muscongus Bay. Lighthouse and island are closed to the public.

Latitude: 43° 53' 32" N
Longitude: 69° 22' 29" W


Historic Stories:

Franklin Island contains many treacherous rocks that caused many shipwrecks on or near the island with the increased shipping trades developing in the 1800’s.

Franklin Island Lighthouse was constructed on the island in 1807 to help guide this increasing traffic in the vicinity of Muscongus Bay.

early Franklin Island light

Early Franklin Island Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

Even with its five-mile distance from shore, keepers were only supplied a tiny rowboat to use for transport. George E. Woodward served as keeper from 1924 to 1926. On January 9, 1925, Woodward was in very poor health at the time, which nearly kept him from completing his duties on the lighthouse and building. He suddenly heard a distress signal and went to the assistance of a fishing party marooned near the station. Even in his exhausted condition, he brought the men back to the lighthouse, provided food for them, and loaned them his small boat so they could get ashore. His son, Coleman George Woodward, was often called on to fill in for the keepers who were given twenty-eight vacation days each year.

As there were no telephones on the island, the keepers, when in need of assistance, would fly the American flag upside down from the top of the tower and hope ships passing by would see the flag.

Franklin Island is part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.



Contact Info:
Franklin Light Preservation Inc.
P.O. Box 481
New Harbor, ME 04554



Local Boat Tours

Hardy Boat Cruises
In addition to historical tours, they offer a puffin cruise, and a nature and seal watching cruise that includes going out to Franklin Island Lighthouse.

PO Box 326
New harbor, Maine 04554
(207) 677-2026


Once a year over the past few years there has been a tour put on by the American Lighthouse Foundation, as part of the Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge events, in an effort to raise money for lighthouse preservation projects. The boat, the P/V Elizabeth Anne, leaves out of Port Clyde Harbor on route to Boothbay Harbor and back. They provide nice close up views of Franklin Island Lighthouse.

Franklin Island lighthouse in Maine

The boat tour is just part of the weekend long Midcoast Maine Challenge, where you can also spend the weekend visiting other Maine lighthouses, and in many cases you can go up into the towers of select lighthouses. This boat tour usually occurs before July 4th weekend, and will depart rain or shine in most any weather.


Books to Explore

Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England:
New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont

This lighthouse tourism book provides human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses in northern New England, along with plenty of coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, and contact info to plan your special trips.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and local coastal attractions



book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

This book is available in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships:
Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted Coal Schooners of New England

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field! Some of these giants dropped off supplies at Mack Point a few miles away.

This self-published book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships. These true stories include competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.



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