This light is located on Ram Island off Ocean Point on the eastern side of Boothbay Harbor. Built by order of President Chester A. Arthur in 1883, the brick lighthouse on granite base is similar to the towers at Marshall Point and Isle au Haut, and included a wooden walkway connecting the tower to the island. A Victorian Keeper's house and fog bell tower also were built in 1883 and an oil house added in 1898.
The original aid to navigation on Ram Island was a lantern in the bow of a fisherman's anchored dory. Custom dictated that the last fisherman into the harbor each day would light the lantern, but this routine ended when the dory was wrecked in a storm. Another fisherman then moved the lantern to the island and tended the light. Shipwrecks continued however, as this light was not bright enough to warn vessels away from the rocks. For some years thereafter, Ram Island had no light and locals talked of ghosts guiding ships to safe passage. Tales include a sounding fog whistle (there was no signal on the island), a burning boat at night, gone without trace the following day, and a woman in white waving a lighted torch.
Ram Island Light was automated in 1965; the house was vandalized and the fourth-order Fresnel lens stolen in 1975. In 1977, the Coast Guard repaired the lighthouse and removed the walkway, which had fallen into disrepair. The boathouse was destroyed by a winter storm in 1978.
Scheduled for demolition in 1983, the keeper's house was rescued by the Grand Banks Schooner Museum Trust, which leased the property and grounds. The Ram Island Preservation Society, an offshoot off the parent trust, has since restored the house; part-time caretakers now live on the island during the summer.
Lighthouse cruises from Maine Maritime Museum often include landing on the island. Some excursion boats from Boothbay Harbor pass this light as do the boats en route to Monhegan Island. The lighthouse also can be viewed in the distance from Ocean Point near Boothbay Harbor.
From U.S. 1 take Route 27 south to Boothbay Harbor. Then take Route 96 east and south to Ocean Point and follow the shoreline loop road. Along that road there are numerous points to view the lighthouse across Fisherman Island passage.