Maine’s iconic coastal sentinels will take center stage during Maine’s 12th Annual Open Lighthouse Day, to be held Saturday, September 11, 2021. Around a dozen lighthouses will welcome visitors with free entry on this one day.
This popular family-friendly event, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation, draws many thousands of visitors annually for an exploration of the rich history associated with Maine’s lighthouses and lightkeepers.
“Maine Open Lighthouse Day showcases our State’s historic sentinels like no other day of the year, and is a wonderful way to experience the charm of Maine’s coastal communities and enchanting islands”, said Steve Lyons, Director of the Maine Office of Tourism.
Maine is often referred to as “The Lighthouse State.” Beginning in 1791, lighthouses were built in Maine to help mariners navigate through dangerous waters and numerous islands. By the turn of the 20th century, at least 70 lighthouses guarded Maine’s seacoast and river channels.
Today, 66 lighthouses still stand sentry over the Maine coast, guiding seafarers to safety. But over the decades, Maine’s iconic lighthouses have come to be more than simply navigational aids. The historic structures that house the lights have become a cherished reminder of the hardihood, romance and adventure of Maine’s maritime history.
“The importance of these historic lighthouses to Maine is evident in the dedication of the communities and volunteers who invest their time and talents in preserving this important connection to Maine’s maritime heritage,” said Bob Trapani, Jr., American Lighthouse Foundation Executive Director. “Open Lighthouse Day celebrates these majestic sentinels and allows the public to see them up close and hear some of their stories from the people who know them best.”
Many of Maine’s lighthouses can be seen with ground visitation, some only by boat. Participating lighthouses will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during Maine Open Lighthouse Day unless otherwise noted. Entry to lighthouses and lighthouse tours are free, with donations optional. Some parking and transportation costs to lighthouses are additional.
NOTE: Masks may be required at some sites so please be prepare accordingly.
For details and map of the 2021 participating sites and attractions visit https://www.lighthousefoundation.org/maine-open-lighthouse-day/
Exhibits at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland and the “Into the Lantern” exhibit at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath offer further exploration on the history of Maine’s lights.