When the explorer Samuel de Champlain sailed past Seguin Island in 1612, he commented that it looked like a giant tortoise. The name "Seguin" is said by some to be a corruption of an Indian word that means "place where the sea vomits." Others claim that it originates from an Indian word for "hump." Either way, it’s entirely appropriate.
Fifty-five local merchants petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts for a lighthouse on Seguin in June 1786. Nearly a decade passed before the establishment of a light station was approved by President George Washington in May 1793. Ten acres of land on the island was ceded in February 1794 to the federal government by the State of Massachusetts, as Maine was part of Massachusetts at the time.
In June 1794, Commissioner of the Revenue Tench Coxe sent word to Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, the customs collector and local lighthouse superintendent in Boston, that he should examine Seguin Island to select the most advantageous position for the lighthouse.
By April 1795, a site had been chosen and a request was posted in local newspapers for proposals to build an octagonal wooden lighthouse tower on a stone foundation and a one-story, wood-frame dwelling. A newspaper notice in late October 1796 announced that the buildings had been completed.
The original tower had deteriorated and had to be rebuilt in 1819, this time of stone. The new lighthouse was much smaller than its predecessor; the specifications called for it to be 20 feet tall to the base of the lantern, 16 feet in diameter at the base, and 13 feet in diameter at the top. A fog bell was added to the station in 1837. In his 1843 report to Congress, the engineer I. W. P. Lewis described the stone tower as in "bad order." Lewis noted that the old 1795 house was “in very good preservation” and was used for storage and as a “lodging-house.”
A new fog bell with automatic striking machinery was installed in 1854, and after an appropriation of $35,000, a new 53-foot stone tower was built in 1857.
Over a period of 31 years, the station was foggy 15 percent of the time. In 1907, the island set an all-time Maine mark for fogginess—2,374 hours, or about 31 percent of the year. The Lighthouse Board announced in 1870 that preparations had begun for the establishment of a new steam-driven fog signal to replace the bell. A new well was dug to provide the necessary water for the engines. A 10-inch steam whistle was installed by 1873, sounding one eight-second blast every minute.
The Seguin Island lighthouse has been featured on many TV shows such as ''Haunted Lighthouse'' and "America's Haunted Lighthouses". They say the keeper and his wife moved into the lighthouse as newlyweds. She quickly became bored, so to help keep her busy during the winter when no deliveries could get through, her husband ordered her a piano. She was extremely pleased with the gift and began playing the one song that came with it. Having had enough of hearing the same song played nonstop the keeper ordered sheet music for several songs, but she continued to play just the one. Not being able to take it for another second he took an ax demolished the piano, killed her and took his own life. Allegedly you can still hear the music from that one song being played.
The officer in charge later claimed that he was rudely awakened by a figure standing in front of him, pleading, “Don’t take the furniture. Please leave my home alone!” The next day the crew went ahead and loaded the furniture into a boat. Suddenly the chain holding the boat broke, the engine stopped, and the boat sank with all the furniture.