Portland Head Light


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Portland Head Light is a popular landmark managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine located along the spectacular shores of Fort Williams Park, at 1000 Shore Road. Portland Head Light and the surrounding rocky shores provide spectacular scenery and is one of photographers favorite spot.

Portland Head Light began its construction in 1787 and was completed and began operation in 1791 with a 72' tower and 16 whale oil lamps. Construction of the first Keeper's Quarters began in 1790 as the result of a contract signed by Massachusetts Governor John Hancock. A one story dwelling built to replace the first keeper's house was erected in 1816. It measured 34' x 20' with two rooms, a cellar and a porch in the rear. And by 1865, the tower was raised 20' and a 2nd order Fresnel lens was installed.

The current Keepers' Quarters building was constructed in 1891 as a two story duplex. Until 1989, it was home to the head and assistant lighthouse keepers and their families.

The property was leased in 1990 to the Town of Cape Elizabeth. Three years later, through the efforts of United States Senator George Mitchell, the property was deeded to the Town. The United States Coast Guard maintains the actual light and the fog signal, but the remainder of the property is managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth.

Also at Portland Head Light is The Museum at Portland Head Light which is contained within the former Keepers' Quarters. The museum contains a number of lighthouse lenses and interpretative displays. The museum is open daily from Memorial Day to the Friday following Columbus Day. From mid April to Memorial Day and from Columbus Day to just before Christmas the Museum is open weekends only. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The admission fee is $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children age 6-18. Children younger than 6 are free.

The Gift Shop is open at all times when the Museum is open and is also open on weekends from November 1st to just before Christmas.

Minimum Time Needed

2 Hours


Museum and Gift Shop
10 a.m.-4 p.m

Admission Fee

adult $2
children (6-18) $1
children (younger than 6) free


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