Fort Point Light was established in 1836 in Stockton Springs, at the west side of the mouth of the Penobscot River, to aid vessels bound for Bangor, a leading lumber port. The town of Stockton Springs was also a lumber port and a shipping point for Maine's potato industry.
The lighthouse gets its name from adjacent Fort Pownall, built by order of Massachusetts Governor Pownall (Maine at that time was part of Massachusetts) in 1759 to guard against the French.
The first lighthouse was a granite tower. The present 31-foot square brick lighthouse was built in 1857. A new wood-frame two-story keeper's house, attached to the tower, was built the same year. In 1890, a bell tower and a barn were added, and an oil house was built in 1897. All of these buildings are still standing, making Fort Point Light an unusually well-preserved light station. The light was automated in 1988.
The lighthouse grounds are now part of Fort Point State Park. Fort Point Lighthouse is a rare case of a square tower on the outside, but inside its brick lining is round, with a circular iron stairway. The only other lighthouse in Maine that fits this description is Deer Island Thorofare Light near Stonington.
The light and automatic fog signal remain active aids to navigation and are maintained by the Coast Guard.
Directions: From U.S. Route 1 at Stockton Springs, take the turn marked “Stockton Springs”. Continue about half a mile through the small town and follow the Fort Point State Park sign, turning right onto East Cape Road. Follow that road to the park entrance; the park road is clearly marked and leads to a small area near the lighthouse. Also, the next road left after the park entrance leads directly to the lighthouse and a small parking area just outside the grounds. Probably the afternoon light is best for photographs.