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Libby Island Lighthouse

Libby Island lighthouse

Machiasport, Maine
Built in 1823


Near the entrance to Machias Bay. Can only be viewed by boat.

Latitude: 44° 34' 06" N
Longitude: 67° 22' 00" W

Historic Stories:

The first naval battle of the American Revolution occurred here near the island. Although a wooden lighthouse is believed to have been built around 1817, the tower set up by government funding was built in 1823.

Libby Island is one of the foggiest areas in Maine and Libby Island lighthouse had to have two Keepers at the site. One of them would have the constant duties of operating the fog bell.

early image of Libby Island light

Early Libby Island Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

In 1878, the schooner Caledonia ran into ledges near the island, only two passengers were saved in the incident.

Libby Island is actually two islands connected by a bar. During a fierce September storm in 1892, the keepers from Libby Island were able to rescue all crew members of the ship Princeport which had run aground onto the bar that connects the two islands.

Libby Island light in the fog

With two keepers and their families there were at times up to 20 people living on the island. They lived not only on fish and lobster, but at times had a cow and chickens on the island, and Libby Island and its neighboring islands were abundant with berries.

The lighthouse was automated in 1974. In 1998, the lighthouse was turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and in 2000, the tower was overhauled and the light was converted to solar power.



Places to Visit:

In the scenic area of Machias, check out Jasper Beach in nearby Machiasport with its unique multicolored pebbles. It creates a picturesque coastline, and is often referred to as the "Best Wilderness Beach in the Northeast".

In mid-August, visit the annual Blueberry Festival, in Machias, which has become a huge event in this region. A few miles away, relax at the white sand beach at Rogue Bluffs State Park or, nearby Cobscook Bay offers boating and sea kayak tours, along with hiking and camping. Historical tours of downtown Machias are offered during the summer months.

Coastal Cruises, depending on weather, tides, and scheduling, provides access to land on Libby Island to explore the island and view the lighthouse up close. Bold Coast Charters also provides trips to the lighthouse. Be wary, again, this is one of the foggiest regions, but still some interesting images can be made here.

Libby Island lighthouse in the fog



Contact Info:
Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge

P.O. Box 279
Milbridge, ME 04658
Phone: (207) 546-2124



Local Boat Tours

Boat cruises below offer many types of adventures. All offer lighthouse cruises by Libby Island Lighthouse, some may also pass the light as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, fishing tours, and other types of excursions.


Coastal Cruises
Lighthouse and nature cruises offered to Moose Peak Light and Libby Island Light where, depending on tides, weather, and availability, you may be able to get off the boat and walk up to the lighthouses.

117 Kelley Point Road
Jonesport, ME 04649
Cruise Info Contact
Laura Fish: (207) 598-7473
Dive Info Contact
Harry Fish: (207) 598-7473



Bold Coast Charter Company
Charter trips also available to Libby Island Light and at times, depending on scheduling and weather, visitors may be able to access the island and walk up to the lighthouse. Unique puffin bird trips offered to specifically land on Machias Seal Island and view the puffins up close, with the Canadian Machias Seal Island Lighthouse there, will also pass by Little River Lighthouse. Charters can also be set up to tour Little River Lighthouse and the Keeper's dwelling.

Captain Andrew Patterson
P. O. Box 364
Cutler, Maine 04626
Phone: (207) 259-4484


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 the northeastern coastline. You'll find plenty of coastal attractions and tours near each beacon.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and local coastal attractions





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