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Grindle Point Light

Grindle Point Light

Nearby town:
Islesboro, ME


Year Light First Lit:

Lighthouse Automated:

Lighthouse Operational:
Yes, active aid to navigation

Tower Height: 39 feet

Present Optics:
250 MM

Accessible by boat & car ferry. Also viewed by boat tour

Open to public:
Yes, open to public

Find Grindle Point Light

Click map image to open a Google Interactive Map for Grindle Point Lighthouse.

Google Map


Grindle Point Light - An Islesboro destination

Grindle Point LightGrindle Point Light (+44° 16' 56.00", -68° 56' 34.00") is located in Gilkey Harbor on the western side of Islesboro Island. Islesboro, originally known as Long Island, is a 14-mile long, narrow island in upper Penobscot Bay. In its initial beginnings, the Penobscot Native Americans referred to Islesboro as “Pitaubegwimenahanuk.” This translated meaning is “the island that lies between two channels.”

How can you get to Islesboro? The island sits about three miles off the Maine coast and is easily accessible by a 30-minute ferry ride from Lincolnville Beach (that is about twenty minutes from Rockland). The lighthouse station is adjacent to the ferry landing. In the summer, visitors can access the Sailors’ Memorial Museum (the former keeper’s dwelling) that has a small impressive collection of maritime and lighthouse related items. Additionally, the island is also home to a public beach with plenty of areas to explore, walk, bike, hike, or jog. In your outdoor adventure, keep your eyes peeled for a potential celebrity; people like John Travolta and Kirstie Alley spend some of the summer in the island.

Grindle Point LightIn 1851, a light station was established at Grindle Point to help mariners navigate into Gilkey Harbor. The original lighthouse (with a $3,100 price tag) was a one-and-a-half story brick dwelling with a lantern on its roof. The government purchased the land on which it was erected for $105 from Francis Grindle.

The lighthouse that stands today was built in 1874. It is a square 39-foot brick tower attached by a covered walkway to a one-and-a-half story keeper’s dwelling. This tower was originally fitted with a fifth-order Fresnel lens. A boathouse was added in 1886, and an oil house (still a present-day fixture) was added in 1906. In 1934, Grindle Point Light was deactivated and replaced by a skeleton tower light. However, Islesboro citizens managed to convince the Coast Guard to relight the old landmark in 1987. A solar-powered optic was installed and the skeleton tower was removed.

Grindle Point Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it is an active U.S. Coast Guard navigational aid with a characteristic of a flashing green light every four seconds. The light is visible for four nautical miles but does not have a fog signal.

If you don’t have time to travel to the island while you are in Rockland, distant views are available from the mainland at Lincolnville Beach. Of course, if you happen to take a cruise on the water, some of the best views of the lighthouse will be found here.


We would like to thank Robert English for granting us permission to use his images of Grindle Point Light. You can view more images of Grindle Point Light and Maine Lighthouses by visitng Robert's Flickr page.


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