Downeast Maine is known for its beautiful scenery, including historic lighthouses along its rugged coast. Pumpkin Island Lighthouse, which first went into service in 1855, can be seen on the south side of Eggemoggin Reach. This channel between Deer Isle and the Blue Hill Peninsula stretches about 11 miles and provides passage from Penobscot Bay to Blue Hill Bay. It is also a great place to take a scenic tour by boat that will give you a completely new perspective of the Maine coast. Set sail off the coast of Maine and discover Pumpkin Island Lighthouse, a beacon from the past still standing on the shore! Here’s what you need to know when journeying to the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse.
Find out more about all of the beautiful landscapes near Pilgrim’s Inn on Deer Isle when you download our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of the best recommendations for the best places to visit near the inn, like the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse.
History of the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse
In the 19th century, Eggemoggin Reach was heavily trafficked by vessels carrying lumber along with recreational summer boats. The passage was extremely important for local commerce and needed a nighttime guide to light the way. Pumpkin Island Lighthouse was approved in 1852, and funded by Congress for $3,500. It went into service three years later, with a focal plane that was 27 feet above mean high water. This made it an easily visible landmark from the water. After it was decommissioned, the lighthouse and island passed through the hands of many private owners. An automatic beacon near the island serves as a navigational aid today.
The Keepers of Pumpkin Island Lighthouse
The round brick tower and adjacent one-and-a-half-story colonial Cape dwelling was first manned by keeper John Chester Tibbetts. His salary was $350 a year for keeping the lighthouse, and he stayed until 1861. At this point in time, Charles Leroy Babson took over, serving as keeper from 1870 to 1902. This Civil War veteran had an amputated left leg and used a cane to get around. When his health declined, his niece helped with the lighthouse maintenance. In 1933, the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse was discontinued and destaffed.
How to Get to the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse
You can sail past the historic Pumpkin Island Lighthouse, but since it is privately owned, you can not venture inside.Though it is not open to the public, the view from the water is still quite magnificent. If you’d like to dock your boat and get a view from the mainland, there are opportunities for that as well. You can also view the lighthouse from a fishing pier on Little Deer Isle. This pier stands about 1,000 feet offshore from Pumpkin Island. This is a great option if you don’t have a boat but still want to see this historic landmark in its natural setting.
Deer Isle Awaits Your Visit This Spring!
When the winter snow melts away and the flowers start to blossom, vacationers return to Deer Isle, Maine, for outdoor explorations. Book your stay at Pilgrim’s Inn today for a charming and authentic Downeast vacation. We can’t wait to help you explore our lovely coastline and discover all that Deer Isle has to offer!