About Eagle Island Light

Eagle Island Light shines brightly to this day and remains a classic example of early Maine lighthouses. Commissioned in 1838 with President Martin Van Buren’s signature, Eagle Island Light has been cared for by 23 lightkeepers until it was automated in 1959. The Light consists of a granite block and rubble tower topped by a metal lantern house, located on Eagle Island overlooking East Penobscot Bay.

The nearby wooden bell tower was erected in 1932 and was used to sound warning to mariners in the fog. The bell tower still stands and is one of only three such towers left on the Maine coast. In 1964, the government decided to demolish other buildings at the station, including the lightkeeper’s house that adjoined the tower.

Lighting Penobscot Bay

Since 1838

Eagle Light Caretakers

Eagle Light Caretakers (ELC) is a non-profit (501.c3) organization committed to the restoration and protection of Eagle Island Light, a unique landmark in East Penobscot Bay, Maine. The Light endures through our efforts and your contributions, providing a navigational beacon to fishermen and recreational sailors alike while inspiring pride in Maine’s maritime heritage. ELC was constituted in 1996 as a result of the Maine Lights Program, where the federal government turned over the majority of Maine lighthouses to nonprofits. 

Board of Trustees

Sam Howe


Hester Earle


Eliza Earle


Virginia Gresham


Justine Henning


Catherine Howe


Krista Odom Radford



Renewed restoration efforts by the Eagle Island Caretakers began in 2015. The improvements have focused on restoration of the lighthouse in phases, with two phases completed while the remaining await funding. 

Phase I

Completed in 2017

Secured the structure from the destructive marine elements by reconstructing the doorway, repointing the outer granite blocks, and applying high-end architectural paint.



Phase II

Completed in 2018

Replaced and painted the paneling, restored the ceiling inside the lantern house, and refinished the outside deck that affords East Penobscot Bay’s best views.



Phase III

Beginning Fall 2023

Phase III will address one of the more urgent structural problems: the deterioration of interior metal elements that provide access to the lantern house. In particular, the iconic and beautiful cast-iron staircase must be scraped, repaired, and painted. Historically, the staircase superbly represents the architecture and social era of lighthouses in 1857. 167 years later, Eagle Light Caretakers are excited to bring the staircase back to preservation condition.

Phase IV

Scheduled for 2025

Phase IV will restore interior brickwork. Lighthouse restoration contractor Jim Leslie (who has done all previous restoration) will: remove algae growth on walls; remove carefully with hand scrapers the old lime coat plaster; tuckpoint and refill joints with new suitable mortar; and replaster the interior walls with two coats of natural cement lime-based coating and a final topcoat of pulverized quartz.

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