Since 2004, the Swan’s Island Lighthouse Committee has been chaired by Professor John Bryan, of Swan’s Island and Columbia, SC, a distinguished Professor of Art and Architectural History at the University of South Carolina (now retired). Under John’s leadership, the light station restoration project has been held to high standards, leading to an award for excellence in historic preservation from the American Lighthouse Foundation. At the same time, community use and appreciation of the buildings and the trails has grown steadily. Since 2008, John has also chaired the Friends of the Swan’s Island Lighthouse (FOSIL), an associated non-profit corporation that has raised substantial sums to assist the Town’s lighthouse restoration project.

Throughout the tenure of John’s wise, professional, effective, low key leadership and architectural expertise, John, together with a group of dedicated fellow volunteers, and with the support of the Town, worked to bring about the transformation of Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station and Hockamock Head. Thank you John for your inspired leadership and tireless efforts in bringing the iconic Burnt Coat Harbor Light back to life! Roberta Joyce would have been proud.

In 2019, John passed leadership to Keith Harriton, a Swan’s Island resident well known as “LJ’s lawyer” and for his efforts to save Hopkins Freight when the Island supply delivery service was threatened with termination. Keith is a distinguished attorney still active as a senior partner in his New York law firm, a member of the Swan’s Island Comprehensive Planning Committee and Broadband Committee and a history buff. We welcome Keith and thank him for taking on the challenge of leading the Lighthouse Committee and FOSIL and moving this grand achievement forward.

The change in leadership is symbolized in the photographs in this posting. Lighthouse Committee volunteers raised Old Glory in 2009, for the first time in many years, in front of the Keeper’s House which was in sad disrepair. A decade later, in June 2019, some of the same volunteers raised the flag in front of the restored Keeper’s House to mark the beginning of the 2019 summer season. At the end of the season, in September 2019, Lighthouse Committee members and others gathered as John Bryan lowered the flag, marking the end of a leadership era. The flag was carefully folded and handed over to Keith for safekeeping until summer 2020. The ceremonial lowering of the flag by John and the hand off to Keith with all in attendance paying their respects, marked a fitting tribute to the transition in leadership.

Lighthouse Day 2019 was a tremendous success with some 85 visitors hailing from Swan’s Island, Stonington, Bangor, and Machias to Florida, to Arizona, to South Carolina to Denmark. The restoration work on the exterior of the tower having been completed, the tower (which had been closed all summer) was re-opened for tours. Responding to demand, the Tower tours extended beyond 4:00 PM. The event was followed by a gathering for Lighthouse folks and Town leaders to, in John’s words, “toast a towering achievement!” We shared so many ideas for next season!

The Lighthouse Committee and FOSIL are hugely grateful to John for 15 years of inspired leadership, and to Keith for taking John’s place. As always, we are grateful to all our volunteers, supporters and donors, but especially to these two lighthouse leaders!

September 2009

June 2019


What Visitors Have To Say

Our stay at the lighthouse keepers apartment was lovely. the place has been decorated in a simple and serene way and the kitchen had all we needed. The view and location is splendid and all involved with the property were friendly.

- Teresa, September 2023

Our stay at the lighthouse — and our week on Swan's Island — exceeded expectations. We packed light, arrived via bikes, and easily navigated the island without a car. Tracy and everyone we met welcomed us and went out of their way to make us feel at home. We felt very privileged to stay in this thoughtfully restored historic building. Kudos to the tireless volunteers! We look forward to returning.

- Tekla, September 2023

The Lightkeeper’s apartment is a unique and beautiful treasure, not to be missed! I feel like I want to tell everyone I know about this cozy, charming little place, yet at the same time keep it a secret; to be shared only amongst those who know. You get to live in a lighthouse, on an island, off the coast of Maine!!! Need I say more?!?

- Dillon September 2023

This was the trip and stay of a lifetime! New England and island life at its best. We had the opportunity and fortune to meet some of the nicest people ever! Swans Island people gave us a giant welcoming hug!!

- Susan and family, July 2021

Our hosts were WONDERFUL and helpful, and being able to go up into the lighthouse tower was amazing. An all around unforgettable experience. THANK YOU!

- Michael and Kurt, June 2021

This is our first time to Swan’s Island and the Keeper’s House Apartment….How lucky we are to have found this treasure! We loved our week of peace, nature, and beauty. The shimmering water, the ever-changing sky and clouds, the trails in the woods …made for a restorative week.

- Paul and Bonnie, August 2020

This place quietly, simply, intoxicates you. Senses are full; smell, sights, sounds … yet not enough to overwhelm, just enough to soothe, just enough to make you fully aware of the natural gift Hockamock offers.

- Conrad and Michelle, August 2020

What a perfect holiday!! … Heaven on earth …lobster every night for dinner, fabulous hikes, amazing kayaking, spectacular sunsets…But perhaps the most cherished memory is the kind and lovely people of this island….

- Mary Beth & Michael, Sept. 2020

I have always wanted to stay at a lighthouse and now my dream has come true! The keeper’s quarters and the entire lighthouse park completely exceeded my expectations! Thanks for providing everything my son and I needed for a perfect stay and such amazing hospitality….

- Kristin and Izak, Sept. 2020

What a magic place. Sun and moon glinting off the water. The lighthouse beam in the trees, the sound of a gentle surf when the tide is in. The bell buoy ringing in the channel. Wonderful sunsets.

- Mike and Kathy, September 2019

The view out our window - moonlight on the ocean, porpoises, giant owls - plus the sound of the gong, and the wild berries…truly a special experience.

- Rebecca and Rich, August 2019

The apartment is beautiful. And the view is amazing! We could not have asked for a better vacation. We plan to return!

- Ann and Dave, September 2018

Thank you to ALL who made our stay so wonderful and relaxing. To the Islanders who told of trails to explore, thank you! We look forward to returning to this little piece of heaven on earth.

- Heather and Jamie, September 2018

From the amazing Light Keeper’s House to the beautiful view from the porch of the same, the amazingly friendly people, and our daily hikes along this rugged Maine Coast. Everything was perfect.

- Leesa and Howard, August 2018

Everything is magical! This is one of the best vacations! Ever!

- Ronald and Janet, July 2018

The beauty you offer is immeasurable. The clarity of light, wind, and Downeast character here recharged me.

- Lee, June 2018

What a wonderful place! We were in awe the moment we arrived. What a quiet and peaceful location for a vacation.

- David and Lorie, June 2018

You truly have a treasure perched out here atop the rocks with the vast sea at the doorstep. We watched a bright moon spilling its light onto the water, listening to the music of the waves, and wondering anew at the stars emerging in the dark sky.

- Susan, September 2017

This has been a lifetime experience! The beauty of Swan’s Island can’t be described in words or photographs, for they just don’t do it justice. I look forward to coming back again next year!

- Lacy, September 2017

We just stayed there and it is tremendous. The view and setting are amazing. The quality of the Keeper's house (2nd floor) is excellent. It is fresh, well decorated, and spacious.

- Mary, July 2017

We are fortunate to have traveled to many places in this world, but still contend, by far, this is the prettiest place on earth. Stay in the keeper's house. You will not be disappointed!!!! It is special.

- Spencer, July 2017