Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is one of the most frequently visited attractions on the Maine coast, receiving about 100,000 visitors each year. The point, at the entrance to Muscongus Bay to the east and Johns Bay to the west, was the scene of many shipwrecks through the centuries. In May 1826, Congress appropriated $4,000 for the building of a lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. The original tower didn’t last long, and a new 30-foot-tall conical stone tower was built in 1835.
In March 1940, residents voted at a town meeting to authorize Bristol’s selectmen to purchase the property, except for the lighthouse tower. The surrounding property became the town’s Lighthouse Park, and the keeper’s house was later converted into the Fishermen’s Museum, which opened in 1972.
In May 2000, the lighthouse tower was licensed by the Coast Guard to the American Lighthouse Foundation. A chapter of the foundation, the Friends of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, was formed. The group soon restored the entryway to the tower and began holding open houses.
Trudy Irene Scee completed a Ph.D at the University of Maine. In addition to being an historian and journalist, she’s also an educator and photographer. She has seventeen books in print. In her new book Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, she uncovers the fascinating story of this iconic Maine location, as well as the light keepers and their families, from the construction of the first lighthouse through the present day.
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Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org