Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse is one of 49 caisson lighthouses built in the United States and it is the only one that is accessible from land. This is due to its location at the end of the 950-foot breakwater that extends into the harbor from the grounds of Fort Preble on the campus of Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.
Completed in 1897, the lighthouse has been intertwined with the history of Casco Bay and Portland Harbor, providing guidance to ships and boats transiting the harbor around the dangerous ledge on the end of which the lighthouse sits. The lighthouse has become a symbol for the City of South Portland, is seen daily on local television broadcasts, and is visited by thousands of people from all over the world each year.
Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse has several unique features that distinguish it from other lighthouses of its type. It’s upper works are brick instead of the usual cast iron construction, probably as a concession to the harsh winters experienced in Maine. The other unusual feature was the sector box. To date, the Trust has not located another lighthouse that had this structure attached.
In the following pages, you will have a chance to explore the lighthouse and learn about its structure and functions. You will meet one of the keepers and learn how they lived on a turn-of-the-century lighthouse. The Spring Point Ledge Light Trust hopes that after exploring the lighthouse virtually, you will come and explore it in person.