Goose Rocks Lighthouse Accommodations
For those who desire a more extended lighthouse experience than a visit to one
of our Open House days, Goose Rocks can accommodate up to 6 guests for an
all-day or overnight visit as a token of appreciation to those who support our
mission of lighthouse preservation. Donations to Beacon Preservation fund 100%
of its expensive restoration and upkeep, encouraging us to make Goose Rocks
available to those whose financial support provide the foundation for lighthouse
survival. Such dedication to lighthouse preservation is often accompanied by a
strong desire to experience a real “slice of lighthouse life” with a prolonged
visit, offering visitors a chance to absorb the beauty of the Fox Islands as the
Goose Rocks lighthouse keepers did for nearly 80 years.
In 2006, Beacon Preservation took over the preservation and
management of Goose Rocks Lighthouse off North Haven, Maine.
Goose Rocks is a 51-foot “spark plug” or “coffeepot” design
cast iron offshore lighthouse. Located in Fox Island
Thorofare between North Haven and Vinalhaven, Maine, Goose
Rocks was built in 1890.
The lighthouse has floors inside the cast iron circular
shell, most of which is lined with brick walls unless
otherwise noted. When possible, a balance of original
detail, historic accuracy, and modern safety and convenience
have allowed us to furnish most of the lighthouse with
antiques and décor appropriate to the turn-of-the-century
era in which Goose Rocks was built. Scrapbooks, prints, and
showcased mementos from Goose Rocks make it a habitable
museum to be wandered and appreciated.
The Rooms of the Lighthouse
The "Keep" is at ground level, a cellar-style 22’ diameter room with
brick-walled storage alcoves, dining table, Aga stove and kitchen area, and
eco-friendly bathroom facilities.
The "Sitting Room" is the heart of the lighthouse, on the first-floor catwalk
level, 18’ in diameter, and the first thing you see as you enter through the
main door from the main covered deck. It offers a cozy ambience and comfortable
seating for 8, with propane parlor stove, wind-up Victrola, writing desk,
bookcase, (holding cache of books, games, movies, and music). An “aero-bed” is
provided for overflow sleeping arrangements on the floor when necessary. The
landing in the front entrances of the sitting room offers a curved staircase
downward to the Keep, or upwards to the Keeper’s Quarters.
The "Keeper’s Quarters”, at the second level is 18’ in diameter, featuring a
queen-sized bed with nightstands, linen chest, writing desk, armoire, and
reading chair, with three full-sized windows overlooking the Thorofare. The
staircase at the landing continues upwards to the next bedroom.
The ''Captain's Quarters" at the third level is also 18’ in diameter, with
brick-lined walls and architectural iron ceiling showing the intricate
construction of Goose Rocks. It offers a queen-sized bed, dresser, writing desk,
and French vitrine; six portholes around the circumference offer diffuse light
from all directions. A slanted ladder in the Captain’s Quarters takes the hardy
up through a hatch to the bunkroom.
The "Crows Nest" bunkroom: maple bunk beds on the 4th level provide overflow
sleeping or lounging quarters for two extra people; the room is 10’ in diameter
and lined with original beadboard panels, featuring a door leading out to the
watch deck, and a ladder leading up through a small hatch to the lantern.
"Beacon Room": this room is the pinnacle of the structure, only 6’ in diameter,
and houses the flashing light mechanism to guide navigators through the
thoroughfare at night. The upper walls of the hexagon room are composed of
red-tinted glass with a full 360° view of the Thorofare, with a marble bistro
table and two chairs for those who wish to linger with book or play cards with a
friend. A small hatch on the lower half of one wall leads to the exterior beacon
Goose Rocks Lighthouse History
Goose Rocks Light was established in 1890 at the eastern entrance to the Fox
Islands Thoroughfare, a busy waterway between Vinalhaven and North Haven
islands. The Fox Islands, over 50 in all, were named by explorer Martin Pring
after the silver foxes that were common there. Goose Rocks Light is a typical
"sparkplug" style cast-iron lighthouse of the era, built on a round cast-iron
caisson filled with concrete. The tower, which has three stories inside,
originally had a fourth-order Fresnel lens. The tower was painted red until
1903; today the caisson is painted black and the tower is white.
The light was automated in 1963. After automation, for a time there were local
people, called "lamplighters," employed to control the fog signal at the
According to Samuel Beverage of the North Haven Historical Society, "Alton
Calderwood and his wife, Annie, also Elmer Carver and daughter Marion (Carver)
Hopkins served as lamplighters. They lived at Little Thoroughfare not far from
the light and were aware of the fog conditions."
The Fresnel lens was removed; there is currently a modern 250 mm optic. The
light is now solar powered.
The lighthouse was expected to be turned over to the town of North Haven or a
local organization under the Maine Lights Program in the 1990s, but there were
no applicants. In June 2004, it was announced that the lighthouse would be
transferred to a suitable new owner under the National Historic Lighthouse
Preservation Act of 2000. In 2006, the high bidder was Beacon Preservation, Inc.
of Ansonia, Connecticut.
179 Main Street
North Haven, ME 04853