Goat Island Light

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Goat Island Light
Goat Island Light from Cape Porpoise
Goat Island Light is located in Maine
Goat Island Light
Location Goat Island, Cape Porpoise harbor
Coordinates 43°21′28″N 70°25′30″W / 43.35778°N 70.42500°W / 43.35778; -70.42500Coordinates: 43°21′28″N 70°25′30″W / 43.35778°N 70.42500°W / 43.35778; -70.42500
Year first constructed 1835
Year first lit 1859 (current tower)
Automated 1990
Foundation Natural, emplaced
Construction Brick
Tower shape Cylindrical
Markings / pattern White with black lantern
Focal height 38 feet (12 m)
Original lens 5th order Fresnel lens
Current lens 12 inches (300 mm)
Range 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi)
Characteristic Flashing white 6s.
Fog signal HORN: 1 every 15s
Admiralty number J0218
ARLHS number USA-325
USCG number


Goat Island Light Station
Nearest city Cape Porpoise, Maine
Built 1859
Architect US Army Corps of Engineers
MPS Light Stations of Maine MPS
NRHP reference # 87002268[4]
Added to NRHP March 23, 1988
Heritage place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

Goat Island Light is a lighthouse located off Cape Porpoise near Kennebunkport in southern Maine. Goat Island Light was established in 1835 to guard the entrance to Cape Porpoise Harbor. The original station was upgraded in 1859 to the current brick tower with a fifth order Fresnel lens. Keeper's quarters were added to the island in 1860. The light station was automated by the United States Coast Guard in 1990 and is currently active. The keepers dwellings and tower are leased to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust.[3] Goat Island Light can be seen from shore in Cape Porpoise Harbor just off State Route 9 north of Kennebunkport or is viewable by boat. The island is currently closed to the public except by special arrangement.

Description and history[edit]

The coast of southern Maine east of the Kennebunk River is studded with a group of small islands and rock ledges near the headland called Cape Porpoise. Goat Island is a treeless outer island, about 7.7 acres (3.1 ha) in size. The lighthouse is set on the island's southern shore, with the keeper's house a short way to its north. A boathouse and dock stand and the western end of the island, with a small brick oil house between it and the tower.[5]

The present tower is a circular brick structure, with the lantern 25 feet (7.6 m) above ground level. The lantern house presently houses a fifth order Fresnel lens. A metal walkway and railing surround the lantern house, and there is a single window in the tower. A small workroom with two doors projects from the tower. The keeper's house is an L-shaped wood-frame structure, 1-1/2 stories in height, with clapboard siding replacing its original board-and-batten siding. The roof is pierced by dormers, also a later alteration. It was originally joined to the tower by a covered walkway. The boathouse is a simple rectangular single-story structure with a gable roof and clapboard siding. The oil house is a small brick structure with a gable roof that has a vent at one end.[5]

Goat Island Light was authorized in 1833 as an aid to navigation for reaching the harbor at Cape Porpoise. The first tower built was 20 feet (6.1 m) in height; the present tower and keeper's house were built in 1859. The boathouse was built in 1905.[5]


Original 1835 tower, USCG photo 
1859 tower, USCG photo 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ United States Coast Guard (2009). Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey. p. 67. 
  2. ^ Rowlett, Russ (2009-10-09). "Lighthouses of the United States: Southern Maine". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
  3. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Maine". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 2009-08-08. 
  4. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  5. ^ a b c "NRHP nomination for Goat Island Light Station". National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-06-20.