Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine
Although known by many names – The Nubble, Nubble Light, the Cape Neddick Maine Lighthouse, the Nubble Lighthouse – and others passed down through the decades, according to The Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce, the 41-foot tower sitting atop Nubble Rock is official, the Cape Neddick Light Station.
Without a doubt, this beacon of light, just off Cape Neddick Point, is one of the most photographed and painted lighthouses on the planet. However, since the tiny island on which the lighthouse is located is not accessible to the public, Sohier Park has become the destination of visitors hoping for the most awesome views of the lighthouse.
Sohier Park sits directly across the waterway from the Cape Neddick Light Station. Located on Nubble Road, off Route 1A in York Beach, Maine (at the northern end of Long Sands Beach), the park offers free parking and has restrooms, benches, and a small gift shop that is open seasonally.
Nubble Lighthouse Trivia
However spectacular Nubble Lighthouse photos and Nubble Lighthouse paintings maybe they are not able to capture the whole story of the Cape Neddick Light Station. You may be interested to know…
The lighthouse was built in 1879 for $15,000 and was first lighted on July 1st of that year.
The foghorn, activated by the atmosphere, blasts every 10 seconds as conditions warrant.
Visible for 13 miles, the 1000 watt bulb (behind red Plexiglass) flashes every 3 seconds – 3 seconds on, and 3 seconds off.
The 41-foot high tower, sitting 88 feet above sea level is constructed of 18″ thick brick and sheathed with cast iron.
Until 1987, when the light was automated, lighthouse keepers climbed the 33 circular iron steps to get to the lantern room. It is in that year when the last lighthouse keeper departed the island.
Extending from Sohier Park to the island is a cable trolley that for decades was used to transport supplies.
The Town of York, Maine owns the property and the building that are home to the lighthouse, but the United States Coast Guard maintains the light.
And, according to Wikipedia…
A photograph of the Nubble Lighthouse is aboard the Voyager spacecraft. The Voyager carries images of some of the Earth’s most prominent manmade structures, in the event the craft ends up in the hands of extraterrestrials!
What about the other structures on Nubble Rock?
Connected to the tower by a covered walkway is the two-story wooden keepers’ house that includes a kitchen, pantry, family room, dining room, and laundry room.
The red brick structure, dating back to 1902, is where fuel was stored, and the small white buildings served as storage sheds and a workshop. However, the white building facing Sohier Park, at the base of the island, is the boathouse that was built in 1978.
Nubble Lighthouse Christmas
Twice annually the Nubble Lighthouse is outlined with Christmas lights. On the Saturday following Thanksgiving, with lots of hot chocolate, homemade cookies, and carolers on hand, Santa arrives for the lighting ceremony. Weather permitting, the lights are displayed nightly until mid-January.
If you miss the holiday lighting…
The lights are strung again during Christmas in July, which is part of York Week and celebrated during the last week of July and the first week of August.
Will you be dining in York? If so, you will easily find many great restaurants in York, York Harbor, and York Beach. However, if you would like to eat right out on Cape Neddick Point…
…you may want to try Fox’s Lobster House (open seasonally), which has been serving tons of lobster, seafood, homemade blueberry pie, and ice cream, to thousands of tourists since 1966.
Nubble Lighthouse Weddings
With a magnificent backdrop for photographs, it’s no wonder the so many people consider getting married at the Nubble Lighthouse. However, since the piece of land on which the lighthouse sits is NOT public property, couples must marry in Sohier Park, directly adjacent to the lighthouse property.
The Town of York Parks and Recreations Department welcomes brides and grooms, however, there are a few guidelines that must be followed – parking spaces at Sohier Park cannot be blocked off or reserved (the same goes for the spot in the park where you want to be married), and items such as arches, chairs, or any other props or equipment cannot be brought into the park.
Other than that, a York Beach, Maine wedding at Sohier Park can take place at any time during posted park hours.