Congress authorized the building of a lighthouse on tiny Pumpkin Island in 1852. The light in eastern Penobscot Bay marks the south side of the northwestern entrance to the body of water known as Eggemoggin Reach, which provides passage from Penobscot Bay to Jericho Bay and Blue Hill Bay. In the nineteenth century, this area was heavily traveled by vessels carrying lumber as well as summer pleasure craft.
The light went into service on January 1, 1855. The station consists of a 25-foot brick tower and a 1 1/2-story Colonial Cape keeper's house, attached to the tower by a work shed. An oil house was added in 1904; an 1885 boathouse was enlarged in 1906.
In 1934, Pumpkin Island Light was one of several of Maine lighthouses that were discontinued and put up for auction by the government. George Harmon of Bar Harbor bought the station along with two others. Since then the island has passed through several private owners. An automatic beacon near Pumpkin Island continues today as an aid to navigation.