Swans Island in Maine, four miles south of Acadia National Park and about 7,000 acres in size, was first charted by explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1604. Champlain called the island Brule-Cote, or “Burnt Coast.” It had long been used by local Indians as a summer fishing and hunting spot. To mark the entrance to Burnt Coat Harbor, a sheltered spot on the south side of the island, a light station was established on a promontory called Hockamock Head in 1872.
The station became the property of the Town of Swans Island in 1994. The nonprofit Friends of the Swan’s Island Lighthouse now have responsibility for restoring, managing, and maintaining the light station buildings, and much restoration has been completed. You can read more about the restoration here.
You can now rent an apartment for a week (Saturday to Saturday) in the keeper’s house at this beautiful location. The Keeper’s House Apartment is an upstairs apartment with sleeping accommodation for two in a spacious bedroom, a separate living room, and a fully equipped kitchen. The living room is flooded with light, has a convenient work area, comfortable chairs, a neat and attractive dining area, and views to the open ocean. The kitchen is small but well-equipped. The spacious bedroom has a queen-size bed, with views toward the harbor and village. The bathroom has a tub and a hand-held shower.
For more information or to make a reservation, click here
For an interview with Eric and Fran Chetwynd of the Swans Island Lighthouse Committee, click here.
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