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Goose Rocks Light

Goose Rocks Light

Goose Rocks Light

Nearby town:
North Haven, ME


Year Light First Lit:

Lighthouse Automated:

Lighthouse Operational:
Yes, active aid to navigation

Tower Height: 51 feet

Present Optics:
250 MM, Solar Powered

Viewed by boat/boat tour

Open to public:
No, closed to public

Find Goose Rocks Light

Click map image to open a Google Interactive Map for Goose Rocks Lighthouse.

Google Map


Goose Rocks Light - Located at the eastern entrance to the Fox Islands Thorofare near Vinalhaven

Goose Rocks LightGoose Rocks Light (+44° 8' 8.00", -68° 49' 50.00") is located in Penobscot Bay at the eastern entrance to the Fox Islands Thorofare (explorer Martin Pring named these islands in honor of the silver foxes that used to inhabit them), a busy mile-wide passage between the islands of Vinalhaven and North Haven.

The lighthouse was built in 1890 to mark the dangerous ledge beneath it. It is a cast-iron, “sparkplug” style lighthouse typical of the era, built on a round cast-iron caisson filled with concrete. The three-story tower was painted red until 1903. Today, the caisson is black and the tower is white and its fog signal blasts once every ten seconds. It is also used in the present-day as an active U.S. Coast Guard navigational aid with a characteristic of a flashing red light every six seconds with a white sector.

When keepers chose Goose Rocks Light as home, they soon realized it was like living on a ship, because you cannot walk on land whenever you’d like. The light was automated in 1963, but the station still employed people as “lamplighters,” whose main duty was to control the fog signal. The original Fresnel lens was removed to make way for automation. Today, a 250 mm optic is solar powered.

Goose Rocks LightBeacon Preservation, Inc., an organization dedicating to preserving lighthouses, now owns Goose Rocks Light. In appreciation for donations that Beacon Preservation receives, the organization offers visits and/or overnight stays at the lighthouse to contributors. Goose Rocks Light, specifically, can accommodate up to eight guests. If you are interested in this unique opportunity, contact Beacon Preservation directly for more information.

On August 1, 2009, Beacon Preservation sponsored a Goose Rocks Light exhibit at the Maine Lighthouse Museum here in Rockland. The exhibit featured placards detailing the history of the lighthouse and its keepers, original diaries and documents of keeper Albert Mills (1910), navigational instruments owned by former keepers, antique bottles found at the base of Goose Rocks, and a circa 1922 model of Goose Rocks Light made by keeper Asa Smith. A photo-frame slideshow was part of the exhibit.

Goose Rocks Light Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse can easily be viewed from boat or aircraft. Distant views are possible from the islands of Vinalhaven and North Haven. People can also get a nice view of the light by taking an Old Quarry Ocean Adventures cruise out of Stonington.


We would like to thank both Robert English and Elisabeth Burnett for granting us permission to use their repsective images of Goose Rocks Light. You can view more images of Goose Rocks Light and Maine Lighthouses by visitng their respective Flickr pages at Robert's Flickr page and Elisabeth's Flickr page.


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