Nubble Lighthouse York Beach Maine
Nubble Light Facts, Directions, Interesting Info and Live Camera!
The Nubble Lighthouse in York Beach Maine is one of our favorite places outside of New Hampshire. The Nubble Lighthouse was also the inspiration for the “Not Quite New Hampshire” section of the NH Tour Guide website. If you are visiting NH you may want to take a short ride over the Maine border to check out this lighthouse.
The Nubble Lighthouse was built in 1879 after Congress approved it in 1874 due to many boating accidents. The Nubble Lighthouse is also known as “The Nubble,” and the Cape Neddick Lighthouse.
The Nubble Lighthouse is a 2-layer thick brick lighthouse with a cast iron outer shell to the lighthouse with a red blinking beacon which lights every 6 seconds to warn ship captains. The walkway between the Nubble Light and the house was constructed for the lighthouse keeper. It protected the keeper from bad weather when the lighthouse was needed most. Originally, there was a bell on the lighthouse that was used in bad weather. It was replaced by a fog horn in 1961.
The Nubble Lighthouse has been fully automated since 1987 and has not been occupied by a lighthouse keeper since. The US Coast Guard now maintains the Nubble Light. The town of York Maine owns and maintains the island. The park where the Nubble Lighthouse can be viewed is named Sohier Park.
Nubble Lighthouse Features
The Nubble Lighthouse tower is 88 feet high and is made up of two layers of brick and reinforced with wrap-around steel plates. It is 13 feet in diameter at the base. The base floor of the Nubble Lighthouse is made of brick. The stairwell is circular (or spiral) which wraps around the inside of the lighthouse and takes you to the lighthouse platform which leads to the base of the lens room. An eight-step steel ladder goes up through a wooden trap door, giving access to the platform surrounding the dome light of the lighthouse. The platform is enclosed by a cast iron railing holding twelve posts that are each topped by custom made cast iron moldings of the lighthouse tower for decor.
The Main House:
The main house is a two story, six room structure consisting of a dining room., kitchen, pantry, living room, laundry room, three bedrooms, and a single bathroom. The house is built in the shape of a cross and is positioned so the roof points indicate north, south, east and west to assist the lighthouse keeper in times where direction was important.
The Boat House:
On the north side of the main house within 50 feet of the water sits the boat house of the Nubble Lighthouse property. There are two rails that lead from the boat house to the low tide water mark. Between the boat house and main house there is a long flight of stairs and wooden ramp.
The Trolley System:
The Nubble Lighthouse also has a very interesting item on the island. There is a basket which is attached to a cable that extends from the mainland of Cape Neddick Maine, to the Nubble Lighthouse island. The trolley system consists of a good sized wooden box that is suspended on a thick metal cable which runs form the island to the mainland. The trolley system was used by the Keepers to transport groceries and supplies over the water for the lighthouse keepers. See “Interesting Facts” below for another version of the use of the trolley / cable car.
The Work Shop:
The Work Shop is a small white building next to the generator house where tools and equipment are stored.
The Generator House:
The Generator House is a little red brick house that was built in 1902. The Generator House is located on the front lawn and houses a backup generator in the event of a loss of power.
Weddings at The Nubble Light House
We have had a few requests about having a wedding at the Nubble Lighthouse. We have no knowledge if this is possible or not. We would assume probably not on the Nubble Lighthouse island itself, but possibly in Sohier Park. We did some digging and found that the Island that the Nubble Lighthouse sits on is owned by the town of York Maine. The park (Sohier Park) is also owned by the town. If you are looking to schedule an event or a wedding at the Nubble Lighthouse, you will need to contact the Sohier Park Committee of York Maine
Nubble Lighthouse Live Cam
The Nubble Lighthouse Live Cam is currently offline
Nubble Lighthouse Interesting Facts
The Nubble Lighthouse made national news when, in 1977, the US Coast Guard selected the photo of the Nubble Lighthouse to be taken on the Voyager II spacecraft, believing it to be the quintessential lighthouse in America. It was brought into outer space by NASA’s “Voyager II” which took the picture of the Cape Neddick (Nubble Lighthouse) into space to represent “The American lighthouse.”
David K. Winchester, a Nubble Light keeper in the 1960s, used the the basket to transport his son to school on the mainland, sending him over the swirling waters below, until the unique technique was publicized in the Boston Globe. Because of the newspaper piece, crowds started to show for the twice-daily event. The U.S. Coast Guard, thinking it was not in the best interest of the child to be 50 feet above the crashing waters, put an end to it.
The Nubble Lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in America.
Twice each year the lighthouse is adorned with white lights, outlining the houses and tower. The first event is known as “Christmas in July” and the second is the Annual Lighting of the Nubble and both events are held at Sohier Park. The Annual Lighting of the Nubble is always held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, This is a fun family evening with a variety of entertainment. The lighthouse remains lit after dark through the holiday season.
Nubble Light Welcome Center and Gift Shop Hours
May 3rd – May 16th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
May 17th – October 19th 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Want to see more scenic photos of the Nubble Lighthouse in York Beach Maine and other Maine related scenery?
Be sure to check Maine Traffic Cams before you go to Maine as the traffic can become busy on weekends and holidays!
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