In 1828 the first pair of Cape Elizabeth lighthouses were built to mark the entrance to Portland Harbor. Considered among the most important on the coast, the original towers were replaced in 1874 by 67-foot cast-iron towers, which have been painted white since 1902. The Cape Elizabeth area has borne witness to a number of shipwrecks, one of which bestowed the area with the beloved friendly spirit of Lydia Carver, a bride-to-be who perished in an 1807 storm. Her small antique grave lies near the Inn and has captured the romantic imagination of visitors and residents alike.
The area is not only know for its famous lighthouses – one of which is featured in Edward Hopper’s timeless painting “Lighthouse Hill” – and Joan Benoit Samuelson’s “Beach to Beacon” annual road race, but also for its pristine undeveloped beaches, bird sanctuary, spectacular ocean views, family farms and unparalleled hospitality at Inn by the Sea.