Boon Island Lighthouse is remotely located on the desolate and rock strewn Boon Island. The light marks this small, dangerous island that rises only a few feet above sea level, and is located almost seven miles off of the coast of York. The original light station was built in 1811 and the current tower was built in 1855. Standing an impressive 133 feet tall, Boon Island Light is Maine’s tallest lighthouse. On very clear days the profile of the tower may be viewed from the mainland with the aid of strong binoculars or a telescope. Those visiting Cape Neddick Light on a clear day, should point their binoculars or telescope at the horizon just beyond the south end of Nubble Island. On clear nights the flash of the light may be viewed along Maine’s southern coast.
The lighthouse is privately owned and there is no public access. In September, the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse’s annual Five Lighthouse Cruise includes Boon Island in the sailing itinerary. Visit the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum to view their Boon Island display and the original 2nd order Fresnel Lens.
The island was made infamous by the 1710 shipwreck of the Nottingham Galley. The survivors of the wreck resorted to cannibalism in order to survive on the barren rock until they were rescued. The story is fictionalized in Maine author Kenneth Roberts’ novel “Boon Island.”