Location: Cape Elizabeth, ME (View Map)
Coordinates: 43° 34′ 58″N 70° 12′ 00″W
The 1874 light tower, which is under the care of the nonprofit ALF, is one of the most recognized and photographed lighthouses along the entire Atlantic seaboard. The light tower’s history and importance as a lifesaving seacoast beacon has left an indelible mark on the state of Maine’s rich lighthouse heritage.
Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse is much more than a guiding beacon – it is a timeless icon that has come to represent one of the defining features of a gorgeous stretch along Maine’s rocky coast. As stewards of the historic light tower, the American Lighthouse Foundation is working hard to ensure that the rich heritage associated with the light’s majestic presence is preserved for future generations
Quick Lighthouse Facts:
- Year Built: 1874
- Height of Tower: 67 feet
- Description: White cast-iron, conical tower showing a group of four white flashes (first flash – 0.3 seconds flash…2.2 seconds eclipsed, second flash – 0.3 second flash…2.2 seconds eclipsed, third flash – 0.3 second flash…2.2 seconds eclipsed and fourth flash – 0.3 second flash…eclipsed 7.2 seconds) every 15 seconds that is visible 15 nautical miles from a focal plane of 129 feet above sea level. The light station is equipped with a fog horn that is 266 yards from the tower, which sounds two blasts every 60 seconds. – Reference: 2005 U.S. Coast Guard Light List
- Location: South of entrance to Portland Harbor. – Reference: 1939 U.S. Lighthouse Service Light List
- Automated: 1963
- Status: Active aid to navigation owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and licensed to the American Lighthouse Foundation
Light Station Historical Facts:
The first pair of lights established at Cape Elizabeth were constructed of rubblestone and stood 65-feet tall. The lights also serve as a range for mariners entering Portland Harbor and possess the distinction of being the first “twin” lighthouses built on the coast of Maine. The lighthouses received Fresnel lenses for the first time in 1855. By 1874 the U.S. Lighthouse Service decided to replace the original towers with two new 67-foot cast-iron towers situated 300 yards apart. Each light was outfitted with second order Fresnel lenses. The west tower was permanently discontinued in 1924. The second order Fresnel lens in the east tower was removed in 1994 and was placed on display at the Cape Elizabeth Town Hall.
The American Lighthouse Foundation has been working on small stabilization projects such as repair to the masonry base and window seals to prevent further damage to the historic components of this lighthouse. Restoration of the lantern and other areas are needed in addition to the cyclical painting and maintenance of the structure.
Lighthouse viewable from a distance.
The keeper’s house is privately owned and the lighthouse grounds are not open to the public. A distance view of the lighthouse is available from the parking area at the end of Two Lights Road.