Last Visited: July, 1999
In 1822 the U.S. Congress appropriated $3000 to be used in constructing a lighthouse and keeper's dwelling atop a hill on Monhegan Island. The light, rising 170 feet above the hightide line, had ten lamps with 16-inch reflectors, a Welsbach mantel fired by sperm oil, and a weight-powered rotary mechanism. Thomas B. Seavey, the first keeper of the light, moved into the keeper's house with his family on July 2, 1824. In the period from 1850 to 1890 the light tower was rebuilt, a kerosene lamp with a second-order Fresnel lens was installed, an assistant keeper's house was constructed, and the keeper's dwelling was renovated and expanded. The light was tended by resident, civilian keepers from 1824 until 1956 when Henley Day vacated the position of Monhegan light keeper. The Coast Guard then tended the light until, in 1959, the lighthouse was automated and powered by an electrical generator at the Fog Signal Station across the harbor on Manana. Because the keeper's house and outbuildings were no longer necessary, the Coast Guard declared them surplus property.
The Monhegan Museum displays a wide variety of exhibits relevant to the natural, social, industrial, cultural, and artistic history of Monhegan. It is the creation of many dedicated volunteers with a commitment to preserving, documenting, and exhibiting materials that convey the unique and appealing life of Monhegan Island. The Museum is housed in the historic Monhegan Light Station.
Monhegan Historical and Cultural Museum Association
Lighthouse Hill, Monhegan Island, Maine
Open daily 11:30 to 3:30 - July 1 through August 31
12:30 to 2:30 - September 1 through September 30
Once you're at the lighthouse continue on the trail beyond the light tower to the cliffs at the far side of the island. The view is worth the hike.
- NOTE: On Monhegan Island the roads are all packed dirt. Also, there are no street signs so be sure to pick up a map of the island!
- From New Harbor or Port Clyde take a boat to Monhegan Island
- At the dock take Swim Beach Lane to the end.
- Take a left onto Main St.
- Follow Main St. and take a right onto Lighthouse Hill Road. This will lead you to the lighthouse.
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