Located on the west side of the entrance to Boothbay Harbor, this lighthouse was built in 1821. The 30-foot stone lighthouse was accompanied by a wood keeper's house which was razed in 1857 and replaced by a 1-1/2 story cottage. In the 1850s the tower's lantern was enlarged to accommodate installation of a fourth-order Fresnel lens. A walkway between the tower and house also was added in 1857; the boathouse and oil house that remain were built in 1880 and 1899 respectively. A bell tower with 1,000-pound fog bell was added in 1895.
Confusion with the light from the Cuckolds Light in the outer harbor prompted addition of dark sector the light in 1888; this code was changed in 1892 to the present red flashing light with white sectors. After this change ships were not attracted over the rocks at the Cuckolds, which were in the path to Burnt Island Light.
Burnt Island Light became the last lighthouse in New England to be converted from kerosene to electricity in April 1962. In 1989 the light was among the last in Maine to be automated; the Fresnel lens had been previously removed. Distant views are possible from the mainland on the east side of the harbor. Cruises from Boothbay Harbor pass this Lighthouse; some trips originating at the Maine Maritime Museum include landing on the island.
The station is now maintained by the Maine Department of Marine Resources as an educational facility.
From U.S. Route 1 take Route 27 south into Boothbay Harbor; all tour boats pass the light. To view the light from shore: Take Route 27 (Townsend) north to Union Street. Turn right then right again at Atlantic Ave. Continue past Lobster Cove Road and Roads End Road to Grand View Road The lighthouse may be seen from several points along that road heading to the Spruce Point Inn. Or, take Commercial Street (one way) to the Tugboat Inn; the light can be seen from the docks there.