Port Clyde, one of the villages that comprise the town of St. George, became a busy port in the 1800s with granite quarries, tide mills for sawing timber, shipbuilding facilities, and fish canning businesses. The area later became a magnet for writers and artists. Sara Orne Jewett's popular book The Country of the Pointed Firs was written in St. George.
The Marshall Point light is 31 feet tall and was built in 1857. It marks the entrance of Port Clyde Harbor and at least one other light has been in this location. The light is rather unusual in that the bottom half is made of granite from the local quarries but the top half is brick. It originally had a 5th order Fresnel Lens but of course that is long gone. The first keeper's house was thwacked by lighting long ago and a new one was built in the some location.
The light was converted to electricity in 1935. When the light was automated in 1971, the Fresnel lens was removed and replaced by a modern plastic lens equipped with backup battery power. Also in 1971, a LORAN station was located in the keeper's house. This station sent a 128,000 watt signal over a range of 14,000 square miles. In 1980 the equipment was outdated and the house was boarded up.
In 1986, the St. George Historical Society undertook the restoration of the house. A committee raised money and the restoration was completed in 1990. The first floor now houses the Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum. The exhibits highlight area history as well as life at Marshall Point.
Port Clyde is actually a small fishing village in the larger, but still small town of St. George. The whole area around the lighthouse is a beautiful place all year long with views of Port Clyde Harbor and the surrounding hills. A great place to yak, hike, ski or bike..
Or perhaps run.
In fact this is the lighthouse where Tom Hanks finished up his run across country in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump. That's why some of the local people around Port Clyde call this lighthouse Gump Light. A picture of Hanks at the lighthouse hangs in the museum.
Click to see video of Forrest Gump’s Run
Directions: From U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston, take ME 131 south through St. George and Tenant’s Harbor to Port Clyde. Turn Left at the “Marshall Point Museum” sign (Dick Cliff Road). Continue up the hill, passing another sigh for the museum, and turn right onto Marshall Point Road. Pass the “Dead End” sign and two stone pillars on either side of the narrowing road. The road ends at the lighthouse parking area.