Marshall Point Light
Marshall Point Light
Port Clyde, ME
Year Light First Lit:
Yes, active aid to navigation
Tower Height: 31 feet
Accessible by car; can also be viewed by boat/boat tour
Open to public:
Yes, open to public
Marshall Point Light - overlooking both Muscongus and Penobscot Bays on the tip of the St George peninsula
Marshall Point Light (+43° 55' 3.00", -69° 15' 41.00") is located at the tip of the St. George peninsula, overlooking both Muscongus and Penobscot Bays. Millions of people all over the world have seen Marshall Point Lighthouse on the big screen, because the lighthouse’s wooden catwalk served as the end of Forrest’s run across the country in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump.
Marshall Point Light is an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation with a characteristic of a fixed white light, and a range of 13 nautical miles. The fog signal is 1 blast every 10 seconds.
The first lighthouse on this site was built in 1832 of rubblestone. It was a 20-foot tall, conical tower with a diameter of 17 feet at its base. The lantern room contained 7 lard oil lamps. A 46’ x 20’, two-story, six-room, rubblestone keeper’s dwelling was also erected that year.
In 1858, a new tower was built. This cylindrical tower was built of granite and brick, with a cast-iron lantern that housed a fifth-order Fresnel lens, which showed a fixed white light.
In 1895, lightning destroyed the dwelling and a new house had to be built. A bell tower was added to the station in 1898, and it featured a 1,018-pound brass bell. In 1969, the bell was replaced by a fog horn and the bell tower was torn down.
Keeper Charles Clement Skinner, a Civil War veteran, served at the Marshall Point Lighthouse from 1874 until 1919, the longest period of service for a keeper at one lighthouse in United States history. Marshall Point Light was automated in 1971. A LORAN Station was established at the site, and the dwelling was remodeled to serve that purpose. However, by 1980, the LORAN Station too was closed, and the house was boarded up and deserted.
The dwelling suffered from neglect, until 1986, when the St. George Historical Society took on the task of restoring the home. On June 30, 1990, two of Keeper Skinner’s children, Marion (at the age of 95) and Eula (at the age of 99), cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum, which is open today on the lower floor of the dwelling. An addition was added in 1995 to create additional space for exhibits. The Museum is open Memorial Day through Columbus Day and staffed entirely by volunteers. More than 10,000 people visit each year. Exhibit highlights include: Local Quarry History; Lobstering in St. George; and Lighthouse Memorabilia. There is also a gift shop which specializes in locally crafted items, clothing, books, and artwork by local artists.
The Town of St. George officially took ownership of the lighthouse, dwelling and grounds in 1998, as part of the Maine Lights Program. The light station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We would like to thank Robert English for granting us permission to use his images of Marshall Point Light. You can view more images of Marshall Point Light and Maine Lighthouses by visitng Robert's Flickr page.