Bass Harbor Head Light, Bass Harbor, Maine

Picture of Bass Harbor Head LightAt a Glance

  • Established: 1858; current structure 1858
  • Light: Red for 3 seconds followed by a second of darkness
  • Height: 32 feet
  • Focal plane: 56 feet
  • USCG Aid to Navigation: Yes
  • Ownership: U.S. Coast Guard
  • Tours: Yes

More pictures of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.


Located just south of Bass Harbor at the southern tip of Mount Desert Island, Bass Harbor Head Light was built to help navigators enter the harbor from Blue Hill Bay.

Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 32-foot brick tower was built in 1858 along with a keeper’s house. A tall bell tower shaped like a pyramid was added in 1876, followed by a brick fog signal building in 1897. The original 2-ton bronze fog bell was replaced by an 1,800-pound bell, which in turn was replaced by an electrified 1,500-pound bell that was mounted on a stand near the tower.

In 1902, the original 5th order Fresnel optic was replaced with a 4th order Fresnel optic. The lens emits red light for three seconds followed by one second of darkness.

The keeper’s house has been remodeled and is now the quarters for the Commander of the Coast Guard Group Southwest Harbor. Additions to the station include a 1902 oil house and 1905 barn.

The grounds are open to the public all year from 9 am until sunset, but the light is not. The lighthouse can be reached by following route 102A South in Bass Harbor, then taking Lighthouse Road to its end.

Video of Bass Harbor Head Light

Photo credits: The picture of Bass Harbor Head Light is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. It is is a photo of the National Register of Historic Places listing with reference number 87002273.

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