Hendricks Head Lighthouse
Hendricks Head Lighthouse is located on Southport Island, Maine at the mouth of the Sheepscot River opening up to the Atlantic Ocean. It was erected in 1829 to guide vessels up the river to the shipbuilding center at Wiscasset Harbor.
Every lighthouse has its own unique beauty, charm, and character. Hendricks Head Lighthouse has been featured on postcards, E-cards, calendars, Christmas Tree ornaments, and jigsaw puzzles. It has been rendered in the visual arts; in paintings, sculptures, photography, and dioramas. And its image has even been reproduced in embroidery, screen printed on clothing, painted on nautical charts, and even on lampshades!
And every lighthouse has its own captivating story to tell. There are only a few stories associated with the Hendricks Head Lighthouse. From the tale of Seaborne, a baby saved by a lighthouse keeper after a horrific shipwreck; a heroic dog named Shep; to the story of a woman who lost her life down by the shore, referred to as The Lady of the Dusk -- they've been featured in countless books over the years, as well as in newspaper and magazine articles, and even on television. And they've, in turn, inspired other stories to be written as well.
There are numerous websites featuring the Hendricks Head Lighthouse. But what makes this website unique is that it features relevant newspaper and magazine articles, which are otherwise unavailable anywhere else on the web, offering more insight into the lighthouse and the people who've lived there. In addition, there is the Reminiscing: Memories of Hendricks Head section. Here, anyone can share their memories of Hendricks Head Lighthouse, or the surrounding beach. To contribute, just send me a link to your story.
“Nothing moves the imagination like a lighthouse.”
~ Samuel Adams Drake
From the time of antiquity, lighthouses have captured people's imagination and awe. Its light has been a symbol of hope in the midst of darkness; a reminder that we are not alone and that there is someone out there watching over us. They are monuments to humanity's innate wanderlust and to our helplessness in the face of nature.
Although the technical function of the lighthouse is no longer needed for navigation, it's an important part of our history. I believe Elinor DeWire, author of "Guardians of the Lights", said it best in an interview. She said; "There were aspects of lightkeeping that were found in few other jobs, and sometimes no other jobs. The main characteristic of the lightkeeper was solicitude. Early on, before the Lighthouse Service began regulating the job and assigning several personnel or relief keepers to lighthouses, lightkeepers worked 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. It was truly a full-time job, and it could be dangerous and exhausting. Lightkeepers were expected to accept great personal risk during storms, wars, and other catastrophes; and they were required to rescue, house, and care for survivors of shipwrecks, as well as their neighbors, who also might be refugees from storms that carried away their homes.
"Everyday life itself presented its own special problems, especially if the keeper and family were isolated on a remote island or headland. Things like food and fresh water were often difficult to get and keep. There was loneliness and anxiety. It was hard to get mail, fetch a doctor, or send the children to school. Living next to the sea exacted a price in loss of life and property.
"There were good things, of course. Lightkeepers were witness to incredible sights of nature, they had the sea for a playground and, when the fishing was good, a supermarket. They were respected government servants, venerated for their virtuous duty. And they must have experienced enormous job satisfaction knowing they were saving lives and shining a light to guide those in peril on the sea. The stories of lightkeeping are striking for their special, sea-spun character. Think of all the joys and challenges that faced lightkeeping families, because they lived on or by the sea and had to keep a light through every kind of pleasure and tragedy. No one will ever live that life again because lightkeeping is obsolete."
As you navigate through these pages of the Hendricks Head Lighthouse website, I hope it encourages you to learn more about the history and legends of lighthouses and about the men and women who served as their keepers.
Directions: From U.S. 1, take ME 27 south into Boothbay Harbor. Continue on ME 27 to Southport Island. Bear right around a triangular intersection (Southport General Store on the right), then, as the road dips down, bear left at the “Beach Road” sign. Continue about .5 miles to a small beach and parking area. Morning light is best for photographs from this vantage point. Closer views are available from excursion boats leaving Boothbay Harbor and Bath.
Local Boat Tours:
Frequent lighthouse tours along the Kennebec River and Boothbay Harbor
243 Washington Street, Bath, Maine 04530
Phone: (207) 443-1316
Fax: (207) 443-1665
Lighthouses: Sequin Island Lighthouse, Perkins Island Lighthouse, Squirrel Point Light. Doubling Point Light, the Kennebec Range Lights, Pond Island Light, Cuckolds Light, Ram Island Light, Burnt Island Light, Hendricks Head Light.
Includes lighthouses along the Kennebec River and Boothbay Harbor.
42 Commercial Street, Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04538
Or toll free 1-800-636-3244
Lighthouses: Sequin Island Lighthouse, Perkins Island Lighthouse, Squirrel Point Light. Doubling Point Light, Doubling Point Range Lights (Kennebec Range Lights), Pond Island Light, Cuckolds Light, Ram Island Light, Burnt Island Light, Hendricks Head Light, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.
Chartered pontoon boat for lighthouse excursions.
28 Walnut Point, Woolwich, Maine 04578
Lighthouses: Perkins Island Lighthouse, Squirrel Point Light, Pond Island Light, Doubling Point Light, Doubling Point Range Lights, Burnt Island Light, Ram Island Light, Squirrel Island Light, Cuckolds Lighthouse, and Hendricks Head Light
Tours of Boothbay region including lighthouse tours.
92 Cape Newagen Road, West Southport, Maine 04576
Lighthouses: The Cuckolds Lighthouse, Burnt Island Lighthouse, Hendricks Head Light, Ram Island Lighthouse, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Seguin Island Lighthouse
Hendricks Head Lighthouse, by Victoria Roach
1. Lighthouses, by Heather Henson. pg.13. Running Press Miniature Editions; Book and Access edition (October 15, 2000)
This website was created and assembled in January 2013 by C. A. Chicoine. Last updated September 2022.
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