Staycation Showcases: Goose Rocks Lighthouse
NORTH HAVEN, Maine (WABI) - All this month we’re showing you unique places to stay in Maine.
From a caboose in Sugarloaf to a canoe shop in Dover-Foxcroft, a tree house in Appleton to a dome house in Jefferson.
Monday night, we wrap up our Staycation Showcases series with a trip to an iconic symbol of our state.
Joy Hollowell takes us to Goose Rocks Lighthouse.
“This is the only offshore lighthouse on the eastern seaboard that you can stay in,” says Casey Jordan, president of Beacon Preservation.
Goose Rocks lighthouse is located off of North Haven and you can only get there by boat. Built in 1890, it is considered a spark plug type of lighthouse. It was procured by the non-profit, Beacon Preservation in 2006.
“We want to preserve this lighthouse not just for the sake of historic preservation, but to make it available for people to enjoy,” says Jordan.
There are six levels to the lighthouse, including a large living area complete with large, comfortable couches, tall bookcases and oil lamps. Visitors are welcome to use the watercolor sets and board games also provided.
“And if you really want an authentic music experience, forget that Bluetooth speaker, go right for the Edison Victrola,” says Jordan, as she proudly points out the antique record player also available for use.
The goal, says Jordan, is to give guests an authentic experience of life as a lighthouse keeper.
“People who want to come and stay at Goose Rocks Light need to be in it for two things: the passion for historical preservation but also for the solitude. For closing your eyes if you will and feeling like lighthouse keepers did in 1890.
She opens the middle door of a large metal cylinder on “The Keep” area of the lighthouse.
“This big post in the middle would have been where the wick would have gone up,” Jordan explains pointing to a hollow and dark area in the middle.
She walks up a flight of stairs to a spacious bedroom complete with period furniture and a queen-sized bed.
“This is the first bedroom you come to as you go up the staircase,” she explains. “And we call this the Admiral’s Room.”
The Captain’s Quarters bedroom can be found on another level. Here you’ll find a cabinet full of lighthouse artifacts.
“An old Coke bottle encrusted from the ocean,” Jordan points out as she examines the treasures found at low tide.
There’s also a Bunk bedroom allowing the lighthouse to accommodate up to 6 guests. There’s a cooking area inside as well as an outside grill and several mini fridges for storing cold items. Power comes from the sun.
Jordan steps out on the first of two catwalks. A 360-degree view greets the eye.
“This is part of the Goose Rocks experience,” she says gesturing to a lobster boat nearby. “Just the beauty of a working waterfront.”
Guests can enjoy panoramic views from not one but two catwalks as well as the beacon room. There are also two kayaks that can be winched down by rope to explore.
But for those considering a trip here, Jordan warns it’s not a five-star stay.
“People who visit Goose Rocks have to have very realistic expectations,” she says. “We cannot control the weather. If you’re in here and the fog socks in at 4 o’clock in the morning and the foghorn starts going off, you’re stuck here. We’ll give you ear plugs but that’s part of the experience.”
There’s also no running water so showers and washing dishes are done by hauling sea water up in buckets. A compost toilet can be found in the bathroom.
“We bring you the fresh drinking water, you’ve got propane for the grill,” says Jordan. “But it’s not like an Airbnb.”
Prices to stay at the lighthouse come in the form of donations. They typically start at $600 a night for two people. As Jordan points out, about $400 of that goes toward transportation and maintenance costs associated with the stay.
“We have a lot of people from Maine who come to this lighthouse,” she says. “We have found that a lot of people have it as a bucket list. And we find that a lot of people want to gift this for somebody else.”
Jordan says most who stay at the lighthouse understand it’s not about the accommodations, but instead the experience.
“When we pull up on the boat to pick people up and they are beaming and you have to peel the kids off the lighthouse because they think they’re in a Swiss Family Robinson adventure, and you know that they get it.”
If you are interested in staying at Goose Rocks Lighthouse, they are currently accepting applications for next year.
Jordan also points out that if anyone is interested in visiting for the day, they are happy to make those arrangements as well.
For more information, log onto beaconpreservation.org
Other stories in this series:
Historic canoe shop in Dover-Foxcroft
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