top of page
  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

The Horrific History of Maine's Boon Lighthouse

Imagine the chilling solitude of being marooned on a tiny island amidst the frigid grip of winter. Welcome to Boon Island, a place distinguished as Maine's tallest lighthouse and steeped in eerie and gripping tales of shipwrecks and isolation.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Boon Island bore witness to several harrowing shipwrecks, one of which resulted in cannibalism. It was in 1799 that the first marker was finally placed on this treacherous outcrop, a beacon of warning for all who dared to approach. This feeble marker was subsequently upgraded to a lighthouse in 1811, casting its defiant glow into the bleak expanse. But that wasn't enough to turn the tides for this cursed plot of land.

In 1944 when the Empire Knight, a hapless ship, met its demise upon the jagged rocks of Boon Island, which resulted in the ship being split into two.

Life as a keeper of the light on Boon Island was no easy task. The harsh and relentless conditions tested even the hardiest souls. Yet William C. Williams, chose to make this isolated place his home for an astounding 27 years.

The 1970s marked yet another chapter in the island's perilous saga when two dedicated lightkeepers found themselves in a dire predicament. A storm stranded the keepers, who needed to be rescued by helicopter.

In the midst of the 19th century, a somber and haunting chapter unfolded on the remote island. Legend has it at the custodian at the time passed away, leaving his wife alone on the rock. She continued to tend the house until the isolation slowly drover her insane.

This tale serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who took on the solemn duty of manning remote lighthouses, often in unforgiving and solitary conditions. The keeper's wife, in her unwavering dedication and tragic descent into madness, symbolizes the profound challenges faced by individuals who dedicated their lives to guiding ships to safety, even at the cost of their own well-being. In the annals of maritime history, her story stands as a haunting testament to the human spirit's resilience and the devastating toll of isolation in the pursuit of duty.

The lighthouse still stands tall, though the rock is currently uninhabited. In this serene isolation, the stories of shipwrecks, survival, and solitude continue to echo through the pages of time, ensuring that Boon Island remains a haunting reminder of the indomitable human spirit in the face of unforgiving nature.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page