Bass Harbor Head Light stands at the southern most tip of Mount Desert Island and marks the entrance to Blue Hill Bay and Bass Harbor. Since 1858 it has warned mariners of navigation hazards along this rocky shore.
In the nineteenth century, the waters near this light station bustled with merchant ships, fishing vessels, and schooners, which carried granite, fish, lumber, and lyme to distant ports, or brought goods from around the world back to Maine.
Many of the islands you see were once inhabited by people who made their living from the surrounding sea. By 1860, nearly one in five Maine residents was a mariner. Today, Swan Island is the only island in view with a year-round population.
As ships and commerce have changed, the light station has been automated, but never darkened.