Marshall Point Lighthouse
Port Clyde, Maine
- Site Established: 1832
- Current Bldg. Erected: 1858
- Height of Light Structure: 31 ft.
- Focal Plane of Light: 30 ft.
- Active: Yes
- Lens: 300 MM
- Beacon Visibility
Historic Significance Score: 3
Guarding the small fishing town of Port Clyde Harbor, this light station when built became of major importance to the mariners associated with the lumber trade.
The present tower was built in 1858, but the charming colonial revival keeper’s house was built in 1896, after the original house was struck by lightning a year prior.
After the second World War, the Coast Guard established an electronic guide to navigation (LORAN-A) at Marshall Point that was discontinued in 1981.
In 1988, the lighthouse was transferred to the St. George Historical Society for its upkeep and maintenance.
With the above history cited, the Marshall Point Lighthouse’s present day claim to fame came from a few seconds scene in the movie Forrest Gump. After the long bearded, title character, played by Tom Hanks, decides to run his problems away, his non-ending run does end at the Marshall Point Lighthouse. The character comprehends that he has hit the end of his eastward run when he runs up the Marshall Point Lighthouse’s wooden plank and can not proceed anymore. Realizing that he can not run anymore east, he concludes to to turn around and pick up his run back west, “Run, Forrest….Run!”
Actually, Hanks did make the trip to Marshall Point for the few seconds scene. The museum has a picture with him and a local boy.
Majesty Score: 4
Marshall Point is not an impressively large light. Its majesty comes from its character and uniqueness.
The attached colonial style house looks like it could have been taken from a well-to-do New England farm with its porch stairs and gramble roof. (See right)
The unique, angled, wood plank walkway provides this nestled location with strong character.
As a note of interest, this walkway actually was covered in the early days, and looked like a miniature covered bridge.
The light is located at the end of a road in a little nook of property. Visitors should not expect an abundance of land on this light, it is basically a one or two plot residence on which the lighthouse sits.
Water View Score: 4
Marshall Point has a great water view. There is a peninsula of pine trees that jet out on the other side of the channel (to your right) that makes for a really a great backdrop for photo op’s and really gives the light a rustic feel. There are small islands scattered in the water view as one looks straight out from the point.
Preservation Score: 4
Marshall Point Lighthouse is very well preserved. The grounds and lighthouse are well kept. There are picnic tables along side the keeper’s house. The day I was there the tables where being utilized by a few ladies playing cards.
The landscaping could be more focused on.
Surrounding Area Score: 4
The town of Port Clyde is a really nice town and has been a popular residence for artist and writers.
The road that you take to the Marshall Point Lighthouse is scenic and, just prior to arriving at the light, runs along the water for a very nice car ride.
Accessibility Score: 4
Marshall Point has good accessibility. Although the actual light is not open, the keeper’s house features a few rooms museum and a small gift shop with postcards and small items.
The day I went the wooden plank was open to walk out on, but I have heard different reports that this walkway has been closed in the past.
As a warning, the lighthouse is a very photogenic backdrop and photographers are bountiful. Wedding parties also take pictures there. This could somewhat limit your access to the light, if you don’t want to ruin there shots. I asked the lady in the gift shop if there are many wedding party pictures done here, and she said, “Plenty!”
Beacon Score: 3
Marshall Point currently features a 300MM lens that is lit constantly. The original Marshall Point 5th order Fresnel lens is on display at the Shore Village Museum in Rockland, ME.
Overall Score and Overview: 26
The Marshall Point Lighthouse is a very nice stop on a Maine lighthouse tour. The pine trees that enclose the point, the farm-house-like keeper’s house and the angle of the walkway plank make for really nice photo shots. You should enjoy it!
Directions: Off of US-1, turn south on Route 131. Follow it all the way to the light. 131 Eventually (Rt. 131 changes names a few times), becomes Marshall Point Road, which the lighthouse is at the end. A warning on the drive: There is an apparent left turn to stay on 131, that is unmarked. You will see a turn sign pointing to Port Clyde. We missed this turn the first time, as did the strangers driving behind us. Be careful!