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Pemaquid Point Light

Pemaquid Point Light

Pemaquid Point Light

Nearby town:
Bristol, ME


Year Light First Lit:

Lighthouse Automated:

Lighthouse Operational:
Yes, active aid to navigation

Tower Height: 38 feet

Present Optics:
Fourth Order Fresnel

Accessible by car; can also be viewed by boat/boat tour

Open to public:
Yes, open to public

Find Pemaquid Point Light

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

Pemaquid Point Light Google Map location


Pemaquid Point Light - A destination location worthwhile of a commemorative coin and a desktop background

Pemaquid Point LightEven if you have never been to Maine, you may have seen the Pemaquid Point Light (+43° 50' 12.00", -69° 30' 21.00") located at the southern end of the peninsula that separates Johns Bay and Muscongus Bay with a characteristic of flashing white light every six seconds, and a range of fourteen nautical miles. This is because residents voted to include this light image on Maine’s commemorative state quarter, the 23rd in the 50-quarter series. Additionally, Pemaquid Point Light is a background option in the Windows 7 program. However, you don’t have to rely on pictures to get a glimpse of this beautiful conical, stone tower with a black lantern; join the 100,000 people that visit this spot each year.

The history of Pemaquid Point Light starts in 1631 when immigrants from Bristol, England settled here. Unfortunately, the Abenaki Indians burned the settlement during King Philip’s War. The settlement was rebuilt but suffered further attacks from the Indians and the French, and it was abandoned. It was resettled in 1729. Today, the area is part of the town of Bristol, in honor of those early English settlers. The name Pemaquid has its origins in the Abenaki word for “situated far out.”

Pemaquid Point LightDue to the rapid growth of the area’s fishing industry and lumber trade, President John Quincy Adams commissioned the station in 1827 and it was built later that year. The original light was an Argand-Lewis parabolic reflector, which was lit with candles, and showed a fixed white light. It had a range of only two miles.

In 1835, the original lighthouse was replaced. The station received a new fourth-order Fresnel in 1856. (This lens is one of only six Fresnel lenses still in use in the state). A wood-frame house replaced the original keeper’s dwelling in 1857. A steam engine operated-fog bell and new bell house was added to the station in 1897. Two years later, in 1899, the steam engine was replaced with a striking machine. The station was automated in 1934, and was one of the first lights in Maine to be converted to automatic acetylene gas operation. The Coast Guard removed the fog signal in 1937. Pemaquid Point Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pemaquid Point LightThe Fishermen’s Museum, once the keeper’s dwelling, is operated by the Bristol Parks and Recreation Department. This museum has many lighthouse and local maritime history artifacts, as well as pictures of all of Maine’s lighthouses. It also displays a fourth-order Fresnel lens from Baker Island Light. The tower is open to the public during the summer months, and there is a one-bedroom apartment in the dwelling available for weekly rentals. For more information, please call 207-677-2494.


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


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