The Entrance to Frenchman Bay
Egg Rock, at the entrance to Frenchman Bay, has been known as a home for seabirds since it received its name from French explorers in the late 1600s. Bald eagles also are often spotted there. Today it is part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. No humans are allowed on the island between April 1st and August 31st, during the nesting season.
The lighthouse on Egg Rock, with its 40-foot tower that flashes red every five seconds, was built in 1875 to help control the increasing summer ferry traffic in the area. After 101 years of being manned, it was automated in 1976. An air fog signal was put there in 1904, and in 1907 the fog horn operated 1813 hours or the equivalent of more than 75 days.
At the right tide levels, harbor and gray seals haul out on the rock ledges that extend south of the lighthouse, one of the reasons Egg Rock is visited regularly by more than half a dozen local tour boats.
Fun Fact: Egg Rock light is occasionally referred to as “the ugliest lighthouse in Maine.” This ‘ugliest’ slur dates back to a period in the 1980s after the light was automated when, for some reason, the Coast Guard took out the lantern, and replaced it with revolving beacons similar to those found at an airport.
Following numerous complaints, a new lantern was installed in 1986, and Egg Rock light again is now as beautiful as ever. Well, having been unoccupied for decades, and in a prominent spot exposed to the weather, it could use some TLC — maybe starting with some paint.