History

The History of Cuckolds Light Station

Boothbay Harbor was a busy fishing port in the 19th and early 20th century when The Lighthouse Board Report for 1890 noted the need for a fog signal station to protect mariners seeking shelter in foggy or inclement weather. The report noted:

“The Cuckolds consist of two rocky islets rising about 59 feet above high water in the
westerly edge of the channel at the entrance to Booth Bay. They are dangerous of
approach on their southern side on account of the reefs in that direction, and the shoals
also extend half a mile to the westward of the western rock, but the eastward side of the
eastern rock is quite bold-to. The flood current sets right on these rocks. They are much
dreaded by mariners in thick weather and are a great peril to a large number of vessels.”

In 1892, $25,000 was appropriated for the building of a fog signal station and keeper’s house. To protect the buildings from the sea in heavy storms, a granite pier was constructed on the highest part of the island to support and raise the fog signal station structure above the storm waves. A light tower was added to the station in 1907, which was visible up to 13 miles. In June 2004, under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, the Federal government invited interested and eligible entities to apply to acquire the Cuckolds Fog Signal and Light Station. Deemed excess to the United States Coast Guard, and threatened with destruction, the Cuckolds was at a critical turning point.

In May 2006, a small, committed band of local citizens, organized as the Cuckolds Fog Signal and Light Station Council, succeeded in its efforts to rescue the lighthouse as the deed to the property was presented to the Council. Since then, volunteer-led efforts have been the driving force to restore the historic light station that serves as the “front porch light” for the greater Boothbay region.

Now, the Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse is open by appointment to visitors and overnight guests for the first time in history. This luxurious retreat is available to adventurous travelers who want to experience their own private island while staying in the lighthouse. Guests are transported to the Cuckolds by licensed Launch Captains in a restored Navy motor whaleboat. Resident Keepers welcome visitors to the island, provide tours of the fully preserved historic Light Tower, serve as concierges and hosts to overnight guests, help maintain and protect the island and Station, and ensure visitors’ delight.

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