Castine is a village whose quite, historic elegance belies an eventful, vivid past. The town, located at the entrance to the Penobscot River, was initially settled as a trading post by the Pilgrims of Plymouth and later named after the Baron de St. Castine who took over the town in 1676. Because of its strategic location, Castine was variously occupied by the British, French and Dutch. In 1779, during the American Revolution, an entire American fleet was lost in the course of attempting to recapture Castine from the British. In the mid-19th century clipper ships regularly left Castine to trade goods around the world. It was established as a French trading post in 1614.
Built in 1828, Dice Head Light was intended to guide mariners into Castine Harbor and into the mouth of the Penobscot River toward Bangor. The stone tower was at one time surrounded by a six-sided wooden frame, removed by the late 19th century; in 1858 a fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed.
Dice Head Light was discontinued in 1935 and replaced by a white skeleton tower on the north side of the harbor. The keeper's house and surrounding land became the property of the town in 1937 and in 1956 the lighthouse became town property. The Keeper's house is now rented with the income used for maintenance of the grounds. The keeper's house was heavily damaged by fire but has been restored. The lighthouse is easily accessible from the village; a trail leads to the front of the lighthouse and to the water.
From U.S. Route 1 at Orland, take routes 175 and 166 to Castine. Continue one mile past Fort George and Maine Maritime Academy on Battle Avenue to the road's end. There is a public (marked) path to the left by the garage.