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Name: Bear Island Light (ME)   Map it!

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Nearest Town or City:
Northeast Harbor, Maine, United States

Location: Near Northeast Harbor, entrance to Somes Sound.

Click to enlarge: Photo    Large photo
Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont

Managing Organization:
Acadia National Park

Telephone: 207-288-3338


Contact Address Information:
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor
Maine, 04609, United States

For some years beginning in 1887 Bear Island had a buoy depot, later transferred to Southwest Harbor. There was also a coaling (refueling) station on Bear Island. The light was replaced from 1981 to 1989 by an offshore buoy and the property was abandoned; it was restored by the Friends of Acadia in 1989 and relighted as a private aid to navigation. The lighthouse property is now leased by the National Park Service to a private individual.

Tower Height: 31

Height of Focal Plane: 100

Characteristic and Range: Flashing white light every five seconds.

Description of Tower: White cylindrical brick lighthouse with attached workroom.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1889 1.5 story wood keeper's house, 1905 stone oil house, boathouse, barn.

Earlier Towers?
1839: stone keeper's house with tower on top. 1853: brick tower at one end of dwelling.

Date Established: 1839

Date Present Tower Built: 1889

Date Deactivated: 1981-1989

Date Automated: 1989

Optics: 1858: Fifth order Fresnel lens; 1989: modern plastic optic.

Fog Signal: 1888: 1,000 pound fog bell and striking apparatus.

Current Use: Active private aid to navigation, private residence.

Open To Public? No.

Sea Princess Naturalist Cruises out of Northeast Harbor offers trips that pass Bear Island Light; call (207) 276-5352 for information. To reach the town dock in Northeast Harbor, take ME 3 to Mount Desert Island to ME 198 south to Northeast Harbor. As you enter the town turn left at Sea Street and drive to the town dock at the end, where there is free public parking.

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Keepers: John G. Bowan (1838-1842?); Solomon L. Howes (1842-?); Levi Robinson (1850-?); Caleb Gould (1855-1869); William Fennelly (1869-1876); Stephen Smallidge (1876-1883); Alden H. Jordan (1883-1899); Lewis F. Sawyer (1899-1909); Heber G. Sawyer (1909 to 1925); Earle Emery Benson ("Temporary Additional Keeper," 5/1/1929-5/1/1930); Elmo J. Turner (c. 1935), Andrew H. Kennedy (c. 1946), Terry Stanley (Coast Guard, c. 1959), Larry Conley (Coast Guard, 1965-1968), Steve Loiver (Coast Guard, c. 1980)


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