Wood Island is a 32-acre uninhabited island sitting at the mouth of the Saco River just off the coast of Biddeford, Maine. The island hosts a wide variety of birds and is the nesting site for hundreds of seagulls, common eiders and other birds. It is an important stop on the Eastern Seaboard migratory flyway. The Audubon Society manages almost 30 acres as a bird sanctuary.
The lighthouse, standing on the eastern seaward point of the island, is a picturesque structure consisting of a two-story keeper’s house connected to the 42-foot stone tower by an enclosed passageway. A stone oil house is situated nearby. A boathouse, sheltered from the open ocean, sits at the opposite end of the island and is connected to the lighthouse by a raised wooden walkway approximately a half-mile away. The island is a step back in time to the era when ship navigation depended on its light and the task of operating and maintaining the light was performed by a succession of keepers and their families.
Today, occasional visitors go to the island in kayaks and small boats to picnic on the lighthouse grounds. The lighthouse is closed to the public, but the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse began to give tours to small groups in the summer of 2004 making it possible for visitors to see the interior and to learn about the lifestyle of the keepers and their lifesaving heroics. Tours are offered three days a week in the months of July and August.We have launched a fundraising campaign to finance the restoration effort. The lighthouse is structurally sound, but much work is needed to put it into a stable and attractive condition. Our construction will be made more difficult by the island limitations. Consequently, we need to raise a significant sum of money to restore the light to its 1906 structure, and to maintain it for the future.