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Tenants Harbor Light

Tenants Harbor Light

Tenants Harbor Light

Nearby town:
Tenants Harbor, ME


Year Light First Lit:

Lighthouse Automated:

Lighthouse Operational:
No, desctivated

Tower Height: 27 feet

Present Optics:
Fourth Order Fresnel

Viewed by boat/boat tour

Open to public:
No, closed to public

Find Tenants Harbor Light

Click map image to open a Google Interactive Map for Tenants Harbor Lighthouse.

Google Map


Tenants Harbor Light - marks the mouth of Tenants Harbor in St. George

Tenants Harbor LightTenants Harbor Light (+43° 57' 39.96", -69° 11' 5.39") is one of only eight privately held lighthouses in Maine. It is located on the 22-acre Southern Island and is sometimes called Southern Island Light. It marks the mouth of Tenants Harbor in St. George.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the 27-foot tall cylindrical brick tower in 1857, along with a covered workroom that attached the tower to a wood-frame dwelling. The lighthouse featured a fourth-order Fresnel lens that exhibited a red flashing light with a range of thirteen nautical miles. The characteristic was later changed to a fixed red light varied by a brighter flash every 60 seconds. The tower was originally painted white with a red lantern. A boathouse was added in 1880, followed by a storage building in 1895, and an oil house in 1906. In the early years, the station was equipped with a hand-operated fog bell. A wooden, pyramidal bell tower with automatic striking machinery later replaced it.

In 1934, Tenants Harbor Light was discontinued and sold at auction. A Rockland resident bought the lighthouse. It passed through several hands until renowned artist Andrew Wyeth purchased it in 1978. Wyeth designed a studio inside the base of a replica bell tower. The lighthouse appears in several of Andrew Wyeth's paintings, including: Easterly, Signal Flags, and Fog Bell.

Tenants Harbor Light Andrew's son, Jamie Wyeth (another prominent artist) has lived on the island since 1990. Several of Jamie Wyeth's works feature the lighthouse, including: Lighthouse Dandelions, Iris at Sea (which was created to benefit the Island Institute of Rockland), Gaggle, Southern Island Sunset, and Pumpkinhead Visits the Lighthouse. Jamie once told National Geographic: “It's like living in an Andrew Wyeth painting.”

Tenants Harbor Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While Tenants Harbor is not open to the public, it has some exceptional views from the water or air.


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