More than 60 lighthouses dot the Maine coastline, and each is fascinating to explore either by foot or boat. Around Penobscot Bay, there are over 20 light towers, including Marshall Point Lighthouse.
Located in Port Clyde Maine, this tower overlooks the southwest corner of Penobscot Bay and the east side of Muscongus Bay. You can walk its grounds, explore its museum, peruse its gift shop, and more. Before you go, check out the top things to do in the area and tips for visiting.
Marshall Point Lighthouse History
The first lighthouse at Marshall Point was built of rubblestone in 1832 and was 20 feet tall. The current tower was built of granite and brick in 1858 and is 24 feet tall from the base to the light. A bell tower with a 1,018-pound bronze bell was attached to the outside in 1898.
In 1935, Marshall Point Lighthouse was modernized with electricity, and a fog horn replaced the bell in 1969. Then, an automated lighting system was installed by 1971. The automated Fresnel lens was replaced with an automated LED light by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2018.
The Keeper’s House
A lighthouse keeper’s house was built alongside the first tower in 1832 in Port Clyde Harbor, and the stone building had three rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs. In 1879, the interior was renovated. A barn, workshop, and summer kitchen were added over the years too.
After the keeper’s house was destroyed by lightning in 1893, a new house was built in 1895, which is the current structure today. The Colonial Revival-style home has coal-burning stoves.
At one time, there was a brick cistern that collected 1,500 gallons of rainwater. As for the workshop, it was moved near the property’s entrance.
When Marshall Point Lighthouse was automated in 1971, the last keeper moved out and the barn and workshop were removed. In 1988, the St. George Historical Society started restoring the home and maintaining the grounds (except for the tower, connecting ramp, and oil house).
Tenants moved into the second-floor apartment in 1989, and the Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum opened in 1990 on the main floor. The following year, the museum had at least 7,500 visitors, and this number has grown every year since.
A Feature Film
Marshall Point light station has been in many commercial advertisements, but was most famously featured at the end of Tom Hanks’ cross-country run as “Forrest Gump” in 1994. Because of that, thousands of people visit every year, and the lighthouse tower has earned the nickname Forrest Gump Lighthouse.
Fortunately, the original oil house still remains on the lighthouse property. For the 100th anniversary of the keeper’s house in 1995, a replica of the summer kitchen was added to the north side of the museum, creating more space for exhibits.
In 1998, the Town of St. George successfully took ownership of the entire Marshall Point Lighthouse complex. The U.S. Coast Guard is only responsible for the light and fog horn operations.
From 2016 to 2019, the Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum Committee collaborated with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to expand the facility with authentic reproductions of the barn and workshop. It’s used as administrative space and storage for display materials and artifacts.
The restoration continues …
The Museum & Gift Shop at Marshall Point Lighthouse
Within the 1895 keeper’s house and 1995 summer kitchen replica, you’ll find museum exhibits that go more in depth about the history of Marshall Point Lighthouse. And, you can see a variety of lighthouse memorabilia.
The exhibits also explore the history, culture, and industries — lobstering, quarrying, and shipbuilding — of the St. George Peninsula. The reference room features related documents and photos, and it’s the area’s largest reference center of historical information.
Along with lobstering and quarrying tools, you can see a variety of displays about the crafts, interests, and lifestyles of residence in the area. All of the exhibits are accessible from Memorial Day through Indigenous Peoples Day, and admission is free!
Before you leave the Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum, stop by the gift shop for a keepsake or two. The shop features unique and quality gifts — from apparel and jewelry to home decor to books and children’s items.
Events at Marshall Point Lighthouse
The Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum Committee organizes events on the property throughout the year. Some of these include marine education events, geology classes for seniors, book signings, and holidays events.
Also, couples can reserve the property for weddings. And, artists and photographers can make arrangements to host commercial photo shoots and painting classes on the property. You can see a list of committee and private events on the lighthouse’s calendar page.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marshall Point Lighthouse
When is Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum open?
The Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum is open during the summer months – from Memorial Day through Indigenous Peoples Day – Sunday and Monday from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free!
What hotels are near Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum?
The Country Inn at Camden Rockport & Glen Cove Inn & Suites are only about 35 minutes from Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum. We also offer convenient access to other things to do in Midcoast Maine.
Can you go inside Marshall Point Lighthouse?
No, Marshall Point Lighthouse isn’t open to the public and remains an active navigational aid for the U.S. Coast Guard. However, the grounds are open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day.
Where is the lighthouse in “Forrest Gump?”
In the 1994 film “Forrest Gump,” Tom Hanks’ character runs across the country and stops at the end of a lighthouse’s wooden catwalk. This Forrest Gump Lighthouse is officially called Marshall Point Lighthouse, and it’s located in Port Clyde Maine at the tip of the St. George Peninsula.
In what town is Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine?
Marshall Point Lighthouse is located on the south side of Port Clyde Maine, a picturesque fishing town with a working harbor, great food, and a variety of things to do.
Things to Do Near Marshall Point Lighthouse
When you’re done exploring Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum, you don’t have to leave the area right away. Consider doing a few things in Port Clyde and nearby Owls Head before you head back to your lodging.
Linda Bean’s Maine Wyeth Gallery
On the upper floor of the Port Clyde General Store, Linda Bean’s Maine Wyeth Gallery is a tribute to three generations of Wyeths. It features original family paintings, as well as one-of-a-kind and rare signed prints.
Wyeths By Water
Linda Bean’s also runs Wyeths By Water, which are boat tours on the Linderin’ Losh lobster boat. The 2.5-hour tours go to many spots that inspired Wyeth paintings and involve pulling up a lobster trap or two. Three itineraries are offered on different days from the end of May to early October.
Port Clyde Kayaks
If you want a more interactive experience on the water, Port Clyde Kayaks offers tours of the waters around Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde, and nearby islands from Memorial Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Or, you can rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards for one to 14 days at a time for self-guided tours.
Drift Inn Beach
To the east of Port Clyde Maine, Drift Inn Beach in St. George is a fantastic place to take a dip on a hot summer day. You can sunbathe on the sand, climb on the rocks, search the tidal pools for marine creatures, and take in the view of the peninsula, islands, and Penobscot Bay.
Spend Time in Owls Head Maine
About a 30-minute drive northeast of Marshall Point Lighthouse and Port Clyde Maine, you’ll find several wonderful things to do in Owls Head. Some examples include Birch Point State Park, the Owls Head Transportation Museum, and Owls Head State Park and lighthouse.
Where to Eat in Port Clyde Maine
Port Clyde might be a small town, but it has big flavor. Check out these delicious restaurants near Marshall Point Lighthouse.
Squid Ink Coffee
For a pick-me-up after your lighthouse adventure, head to Squid Ink Coffee. This coffee shop serves brewed coffee and tea, espresso drinks, and iced drinks. You can enjoy your coffee with a sweet treat inside or outside on the dock.
Port Clyde General Store
Serving breakfast and lunch every day, the Port Clyde General Store is more than just a convenience store. The kitchen makes breakfast dishes — French toast, pancakes, lobster Benedict, etc. — all day.
Also, the lunch menu features seafood, burgers and hot dogs, sandwiches and 8-inch subs, pizza, and more. You can take your meal with you for a picnic or eat on the dockside picnic tables.
Dip Net Restaurant
Right behind the general store, Dip Net Restaurant is a full-service establishment that specializes in seafood, particularly quarter-pound rolls and fry baskets. The menu also features sandwiches, burgers, and steam pots, as well as beer, cocktails, and wine.
Village Ice Cream & Port Clyde Bakery
Open seasonally (late April through December), the Village Ice Cream & Port Clyde Bakery is the town’s dessert shop. It has 36 flavors of ice cream and makes banana boats, classic sundaes, brownie sundaes, floats, old-fashioned ice cream sodas, and milkshakes.
On the bakery menu, you’ll find a range of sweets — brownies, doughnuts, cookies, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, pumpkin bread, blueberry-lemon pound cake, and 8-inch pies. The shop makes biscuits and yeast rolls too.
Where to Stay While Visiting Marshall Point Lighthouse
When you’re planning to visit Mid Coast Maine and Marshall Point Lighthouse, The Country Inn at Camden Rockport is ready to keep you comfortable. We have 36 cozy rooms and suites and 11 intimate cottages waiting to be your home away from home.
Every stay includes our complimentary breakfast and access to our health club, which features a hot tub, indoor heated pool, and fitness room. When you’re ready to choose a room, check our availability for your travel dates.
As an alternative, our sister location — Glen Cove Inn & Suites — offers guest rooms and spacious suites from May through October. Located on over 3 acres, we have a heated outdoor pool, 1.5-mile trail access, and awesome ocean views. See if a room is available for your upcoming Maine adventure.