Midcoast Maine is a lighthouse lover’s dream. There are so many differently shaped, sized, and colored lighthouses to see, and the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is one of our favorites! Located in Bristol, Maine, this historic structure makes for an exciting day trip from Southport. Here is everything visitors should know about it before visiting.
Plenty of beautiful views, coastal charm, and outdoor adventures await on a trip to see the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. For a complete list of even more things to do and see in the area, access our complimentary Midcoast Maine Vacation Guide today! It’s a carefully curated selection of the region’s best restaurants, shops, activities, and annual events. Don’t miss out on the local insight so necessary to planning an unforgettable trip.
What You Need to Know About the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse History
What’s unique about this unassuming, all-white lighthouse is its colorful history. The structure is located on Pemaquid Point, a piece of land known for its dramatic, striped rock formations shaped by the sea. The name “Pemaquid” is an Abenaki Indian term meaning “situated far out.” At this location in the 1600s, English immigrants established a settlement. Eventually, the 200-person encampment was burned by Abenaki Indians and abandoned in the early 1700s. Thirty years later, it was resettled. It remains an important part of Bristol, Maine, today!
Not many visitors realize that Pemaquid Point has been the site of many shipwrecks through time. One was the 1635 wreck of the British ship Angel Gabriel, which went down in history as one of the deadliest in the region. In September of 1903, another took place. The fishing schooner George F. Edmunds set sail for Bristol in a gale, but was driven into the rocks of Pemaquid Point due to strong winds. Unfortunately, the captain and 13 crew members were killed and only two people survived. The captain of another schooner, The Sadie and Lillie, also died in the same storm. To this day, some swear that the area is haunted for this very reason!
The Pemaquid Point Lighthouse wasn’t constructed until 1827 by Jeremiah Berry. The original tower didn’t last long due to poor craftsmanship. A new tower was commissioned by Berry’s nephew, Joseph. By 1856, a new lantern and keeper’s quarters were built by the Durham family, who resided on Pemaquid Point. Since then, the lighthouse has had an on-site museum, art gallery, and park.
What to Expect During a Visit
A visit to the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, operated by the Friends of the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, provides visitors with plenty of photo opportunities and educational tidbits. During a visit, be sure to check out the active lighthouse itself, Fisherman’s Museum, Pemaquid Art Gallery, and the surrounding park. It costs $3 per person to access these activities, and tickets are valid for a full day (even if visitors leave for lunch, then return later). Directions to the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse are available online.
Newagen Seaside Inn Is Close to the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse!
The best way to see the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is to stay at Newagen Seaside Inn in the beautiful small town of Southport, Maine! It’s under an hour away from the popular attraction and features stunning views of Cape Newagen. Every one of our accommodations is comfortably furnished, spacious, and decorated in hues of sand and sea. Staying in one of our private cottages or elegant guest rooms offers a perfect opportunity to attend local events like a traditional Maine lobster bake or fireside evening of entertainment. There’s no better place to stay for visitors who want the ultimate Midcoast Maine experience.