In 1874 Congress appropriated $15,000 to build a light station at the Nubble and in 1879 construction began. Cape Neddick Light Station was dedicated by the US Lighthouse service on July 1st of that year.
The keeper's house is two stories and includes a family room, dining room, pantry, laundry room and kitchen. A covered walkway connects the keeper's house to the tower. The light is located in a 41-foot tower, 88 feet above the high water mark. The tower is 13' in diameter, built of brick, about 18" thick, and reinforced by an outer shell of iron sheathing.
There are several outbuildings of interest on the Nubble. The red brick structure stored the fuel oil used to power the lamp and the small white building served as a storage shed and workshop for the lighthouse keeper. The white building located at the base of the island and facing Sohier Park is the boathouse.
There is a cable trolley that stretches from Sohier Park to the island. This was used by the Coast Guard to transport supplies from the mainland to the lighthouse station.In 1939, the lighthouse service was disbanded and the responsibility for the lighthouse system was charged to the United States Coast Guard. By the 1980's the lighthouse automation program had begun and it became no longer necessary for the Coast Guard to man the island. The lighthouse keeper left the island in 1987. In 1989, the Town of York entered into a lease program with the United States government. The intent was to secure the historical and architectural integrity for the buildings and insure the safe keeping of this community treasure.
On Saturday, June 20, 1998, ownership of the Nubble Lighthouse was given to the town of York, through the Maine Lights Program. In all, the Maine Lights Program awarded ownership to twenty-eight other Maine lighthouses, all former US Coast Guard properties.