Think lighthouses are now simply part of our scenic view? In most locations they continue to serve as vital aids for safe navigation for commercial ships and pleasure crafts alike.
Dice’s Head Light was built in 1828-1829 to guide the increase in maritime shipping on the Penobscot River and in Castine Harbor. The first lighthouse keeper was 75-year-old Captain Jacob Sherburne. He lived in the house attached to the tower and earned $200 annually for his duties. This was less than other Maine keepers who made between $350 and $450 per year.
In 1858 the lighthouse was refurbished and a fourth-order Fresnel light was installed to improve the beam’s reach and visibility.
Like many Maine lighthouses, the 1930s brought economization and modernization. Dice’s Head’s Light was electrified and automated by 1935. Two years later a skeleton light tower and bell buoy were built on the rocks below and made the old light house obsolete.
Today, Dice’s Head Light is again lit after a 2007 wind storm destroyed the newer light and bell buoy. The light keeper’s home is rented. Visitors are welcome to walk the grounds around the lighthouse until sunset. The tower is open for tours on special occasions.