TakeMe2 Rockland Maine


TakeMe2 Rockland on Facebook TakeMe2 Camden Facebook page
Twiiter Twitter
Matinicus Rock Light

Matinicus Rock Light

Matinicus Rock Light

Nearby town:
Criehaven, ME


Year Light First Lit:

Lighthouse Automated:

Lighthouse Operational:
Yes, active aid to navigation

Tower Height: 48 feet

Present Optics:
VEGA VRB-25 Solar Powered

Viewed by boat/boat charter

Open to public:
No, closed to public

Find Matinicus Rock Light

Click map image to open a Google Interactive Map for Matinicus Rock Lighthouse.

Google Map


Matinicus Rock Light - A beautiful spot located on a 32-acre granite island with a stormy history

Matinicus Rock LightMatinicus Rock Light (+43° 47' 00", -68° 51' 18") is located in Penobscot Bay about five miles south of Matinicus Island, on Matinicus Rock, a 32-acre granite island located eighteen miles off the mainland. It is an active U.S. Coast Guard that aids in navigation with a characteristic of a flashing white light every ten seconds. The fog signal blasts once every fifteen seconds.

In 1827, President John Quincy Adams authorized the construction of two lighthouses on Matinicus Rock. The first lighthouse was a stone dwelling featuring a wooden tower on each end. Each of the towers displayed a fixed white light. In the winter of 1839, a massive storm took both lights out of operation but they were repaired soon after. The light faced another challenge in 1842 when another storm hit and caused significant damage.

The path to rebuilding, like most other coastal lighthouses, took time. A new granite dwelling was erected in 1846, and new granite lighthouse towers were built in 1848. The old towers were demolished, but the original dwelling remained as a storage building. In 1856, a 2,000-pound fog bell was added (now part of the collection at the Maine Lighthouse Museum here in Rockland). A new bell tower with striking machinery was built in 1867. Two years later, in 1869, one of the very first steam-powered fog whistles was installed.

Matinicus Rock LightAnother new pair of granite towers was erected in 1857 with third-order Fresnel lenses in the lanterns, and the keeper’s dwelling received an addition. The north light was extinguished in 1883, and the south tower light was changed from a fixed white light to a fixed red light. Mariners complained, and the north light was relit five years later. Both lights were changed back to a fixed white.

In 1923, the north light was extinguished for good when the government transitioned all twin light stations to single lights. The lantern from the north tower was installed at Poe Reef Light in Michigan. The third-order Fresnel lens from the south tower is now on display in Rockland’s Maine Lighthouse Museum.

Amazingly enough another storm was responsible for wreaking havoc in 1933, filling the dwelling with water and debris. When another storm caused significant damage in 1950, the Coast Guard removed most of the outbuildings. All that remains today is the keeper’s house, the 1890 oil house, and the two towers. In 1983, the south light became fully automated. Solar panels were installed in 2007.

Matinicus Rock LightThanks to the Maine Lights Program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now owns the lighthouse. Matinicus Rock is part of Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Birds are an important piece to this community. The island is a bird sanctuary supervised by The National Audubon Society and Matinicus Rock is the southernmost nesting site for the Atlantic Puffin and home to many other seabirds. Matinicus Rock Light is a great spot to watch the Puffin birds. Today, the Matinicus Rock Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a beautiful spot to visit.


We would like to thank Jason Sears for granting us permission to use his images of Matinicus Rock Light. You can view more images of Matinicus Rock Light and Matinicus Rock by visitng Jason's Flickr page.


TakeMe2 Communications | 2 Main Street | Building 17 - Suite 301H | Biddeford, ME 04005 | 207-712-8595