Scenic USA - Maine

Fort Point Light

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Fort Point Light - Stockton Springs, Maine

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Most Maine's lighthouses are no longer used as primary guides for navigation, but the love for these historic landmarks continues to grow. With many light stations renovated as tourist attractions, many harbor towns offer a vintage feel of the Down East Region's maritime heritage.
   First established on the west side of the Penobscot River entrance in 1836, the Fort Point Lighthouse became Maine’s first river lighthouse. This important location, where the river leads inland to Bangor, was the sight of Fort Pownall. Hoping to defend the finest bay in North America, Massachusetts Governor Pownall's fort was a first line defense against French advances. Fort Point Light Fog Bell Shed Although never used, the presence of the fort encouraged further settlement. Shipments of lumber and potatoes made their way through Penobscot Bay, and a lighthouse was an integral part of this shipping lane.
   The lighthouse continues its duties today, broadcasting its beam for 10 miles over Penobscot Bay. The pyramidal bell tower, one of the few remaining odd shaped structures of its kind, is listed on the National Register. The fog bell is no longer in use, but the automated lighthouse and fog signal remain active navigational aids maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
   Fort Point State Park was opened in 1974, with the light station forming the main feature of the coastal park. For the residents and visitors of nearby Stockton Springs, the park offers picnic sites, a 200 foot fishing pier and access to a seven mile riverside trail around Cape Jellison. Well off the beaten path from Maine's more famous coastal towns, the cozy Fort Point setting may offer a great way to connect to the past without the distraction of mainstream crowds.

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