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A Brief History of Curtis Island Light

Curtis Island Light is located at the entrance to Camden Harbor, set on the southeastern end of Curtis Island. The first brick lighthouse on Curtis Island was built in 1835, costing $4,500. Originally called Negro Island, presumably after an African cook who lived there, the island was renamed “Curtis Island” in 1934, in honor of longtime summer resident Cyrus H.K. Curtis, publisher of the Saturday Evening Post.

At 25 feet tall, the cylindrical brick tower has a range of 6 nautical miles. Keepers were removed and the Fresnel lens was replaced by a modern optic in 1972 when the lighthouse became automated. The light is now solar powered.

Owned by the town of Camden since 1998, Curtis Island is a public park only accessible by boat. The lighthouse is not open to the public, but the old Fresnel lens can be seen on display at the Camden town office. Although best viewed by the water, a view is possible by land just off of Bay View Street in downtown Camden. One can also glimpse a distant view of the lighthouse from the top of Mount Battie.

Click here to read more about the history of Curtis Island Light.

“I’ve spent many years visiting Rockland, one of my absolute favorite places in Maine, but had never ventured into the quaint town of Rockport before. It was an early spring day with the promise of warmer weather that I always look forward to after a long winter. My husband and I grabbed our cameras and a snack, then ambled up the coast in search of Curtis Island Light. Our travels wound us around Rockport Marine Park, then up a hill past Aldermere Farm, where we spied their Belted Galloway cows. We parked our car on a side street filled with lovely homes, then walked until we found the short path that overlooks Curtis Island and its lighthouse. We sat on the rocky coast gazing across to the island while basking in the warm spring sunshine for a bit, watching a pair of eiders cruising around. It was a picturesque Maine scene that we had all to ourselves for a brief moment in time.”

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