Historic Coast Guard photo of the original, 1855 wooden Portland Breakwater Light. The light tower was replaced in 1875 by the current, cast-iron tower.
Historic Coast Guard photo of the Portland Breakwater Light. In 1875, when the photo was taken, the tiny cast-iron light tower had an attached keeper's house. That house has since been removed.
The original Portland Breakwater Light was built in 1855 and was a tiny, wooden affair marking the end of a rocky breakwater shielding Portland Harbor. Eventually, the original light tower was replaced. The new one, built in 1875, is one of Maine's most elegant lighthouses. Though modeled on an ancient Greek monument, the 26-foot-tall tower is built of plates of cast iron. It was dubbed "Bug Light" due to its small size. The light sits in Bug Light Park in South Portland, where free parking is available. To reach the park, take Route 77 south into South Portland. Drive east on Broadway, turn left on Pickett St., which becomes Madison St. and leads to the park. Bug Light can also be seen from several Casco Bay cruises.