The iconic Pemaquid Point Lighthouse draws more than 100,000 visitors a year to climb the light tower, visit the Fisherman’s Museum and explore the rocky, Maine shore. The original lighthouse at Pemaquid Point, which juts into the Atlantic Ocean between Muscongus and Johns bays, was commissioned during the presidency of John Quincy Adams and began operating in 1827. The first version was poorly constructed, however, and was rebuilt in 1835. A new keepers house was added in 1857, and at the same time, the government added a new Fresnel lamp, which can be seen for 14 nautical miles.
The Town of Bristol bought the seven-acre park surrounding the lighthouse in 1940 and still operates the park today. The American Lighthouse Foundation operates the light tower. The first floor of the keepers’ house is the Fisherman’s Museum, which displays artifacts donated by the people of Bristol to chronicle the area’s maritime history.
There is a learning center at the park along with Pemaquid Gallery of Artists, which houses work by local artists. The Park facilities are open to the public from early May through the end of October, and there is a small entrance fee. At other times, the park property remains open to the public year-round for sightseeing.
The image of the lighthouse is well known to anyone who has ever looked at the Maine State Quarter, minted in 2003. With that coin, the lighthouse became the first to be featured on any U.S. currency. A visit to the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is just one of the many Maine places of interest that you can visit during a vacation at the Newcastle Inn. The lighthouse is just 15 miles south of the inn, and it can be enjoyed during any season, depending on the weather. The Newcastle Inn is centrally located in Midcoast Maine and is an ideal place to stay while exploring the area.