CREDITS: I would like to thank Jeremy D'Entremont for providing much of the history one can find on this site. He is a speaker, author, historian, and tour guide who is widely recognized as the foremost authority on the lighthouses of New England. For a story on Jeremy or to visit his site (New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide), use the corresponding link in the right hand information bar under "Related Links".

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I have set up this site as a means to share my photographs of lighthouses. Since retiring and finding more time to study photography, my interests have expanded a little. For some of my work other than lighthouses please enjoy my Facebook page at, John Shaw Photography. Come visit, enjoy, and 'LIKE' if you wish.

Also, for your enjoyment, I have provided a slideshow of our journey. To view it please use the link on the right under 'Site Navigation Tools'.

I sincerely hope you enjoy my efforts and use my site not only for information and education but also to provide directions for many enjoyable, inspirational visits to the beacons along our beautiful coas.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Grindle Point Lighthouse

     Islesboro, once known as Long Island, is a 13-mile long, narrow island in upper Penobscot Bay. The largest commercial shipping fleet in the bay was based at Islesboro in the nineteenth century. More recently, the island has been known as a haunt for the rich; early this century it was frequented by the likes of J.P. Morgan. Today, actors John Travolta and Kirstie Alley are among those who live part-time on Islesboro.

      After a Congressional appropriation of $3500 in March 1848, a light station was established at Grindle Point on South Islesboro's west coast in 1851 to aid mariners entering Gilkey Harbor. The deep and spacious harbor is named for an early settler, John Gilkey, who came to Islesboro in 1772. Gilkey's house long served as a landmark for passing mariners. The first lighthouse consisted of a one-and-one-half-story brick dwelling with a lantern on its roof. It was built for $3100.16 on land purchased for $105 by the government from Francis Grindle (sometimes spelled Grindle).

     The present (1874) lighthouse is a square 39-foot brick tower attached by a covered walkway (part of the original station) to a 1 1/2-story keeper's house. A boathouse was built in 1886 and an oil house was added in 1906. The oil house remains standing, a good distance away from the lighthouse.

     In 1934, Grindle Point Light was deactivated and replaced by a nearby light on a skeleton tower. The lighthouse and grounds became the property of the Town of Islesboro for $1,200 and the keeper's house was converted into the Sailor's Memorial Museum, which opened in 1938. In 1939, 1, 046 people from the U.S. and 10 other countries visited the museum.

      The people of Islesboro convinced the Coast Guard to relight Grindle Point Light in 1987. A solar-powered optic was installed with a flashing green light, and the skeleton tower was removed. A 1,000-pound fog bell was put on display in front of the lighthouse. Grindle Point Light remains an active aid to navigation maintained by the Coast Guard.

      The Sailor's Memorial Museum is open in summer. There is a public beach on the island and roads for driving, biking or hiking, with beautiful views of the Penobscot Bay and the Camden Hills.

     Directions Take U.S. Route 1 to Lincolnville Beach and follow the signs to the Islesboro ferry.  The ferry landing is adjacent to the light house.  The sun in the afternoon is best for most photographs.

      CreditsI would like to thank Jeremy D'Entremont, webmaster of,, for sharing the above history.  Jeremy is a speaker, author, historian, and tour guide who is widely recognized as the foremost authority on the lighthouses of New England.  To view a story on him, go to, (Jeremy D'Entremont).  

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