The Lighthouse Letter 2010
SOCIETY ATTEMPTS TO ACQUIRE MAINE LIGHTHOUSE INN
The Lighthouse Preservation Society has obtained a Right-of-First-Refusal to purchase the historic Isle au Haut Light Station (also known as the Keeper's House Inn), and has hired professional grant writers to help raise the nearly $2 million purchase price. It is our hope that we can keep the historic site open to the public, rather than allowing it to become privatized. Built in 1907, on an inhabited island south of Stonington, Maine, the Keeper's House has served as a popular lighthouse inn since the 1980's, when The Lighthouse Preservation Society helped to orchestrate its acquisition by innkeepers Jeff and Judi Burke, who are now retiring. Much of Isle au Haut is owned by Acadia National Park, and the inn has served as one of the few places where visitors can stay overnight on the island. By acquiring the lighthouse,The Lighthouse Preservation Society hopes to continue the tradition of public access. Please contact us if you, or someone you know, is willing to make a major contribution to this effort. For more information, call us at 1-800-727-BEAM. Checks should be made out to: The Lighthouse Preservation Society, 11 Seaborne Drive, Dover, NH 03820.
MOTION PICTURES & VIRTUAL TOUR
ADDED TO L.P.S. WEB SITE
Would you like to show people what it's like to dine at the top of the Newburyport Lighthouse with a virtual tour, as if they were really there? Or maybe you'd like to see a video of the Phantom Gourmet's rave review of this unique dining experience? These new additions, plus several public service announcements, designed for television, have been added to The Lighthouse Preservation Society's web site this past year. Check out these informative, inspiring, and even entertaining (see "Rock!") film clips at www.lighthousepreservation.org.
NEWBURYPORT LIGHTHOUSE GETS IMPROVEMENTS FRONT EXTERIOR - NEW SIGN FOR OLD LIGHT
The Newburyport Rear Range Light received a number of improvements this past year, including a beautiful new sign that now hangs over the entry door, at the base of the tower. The colorful navy and gold sign has a handsome brass anchor at the top, surrounded with a laurel wreath, and features carved gold leaf lettering. We spared no expense on this work of art. It was produced by a local business, Jen Wright Signs, at a cost of nearly $3,000. The distinc house tower and downtown Newburyport. Also, in keeping with Newburyport's award-winning reputation for downtown flower displays, the Society has purchased two large planters, and placed them on either side of the front door in order to display a variety of colorful flower arrangements. This past year, we kept the plants looking beautiful throughout the growing season with a commitment to watering them daily.
INTERIOR – DOORS, HANDRAIL, SCROLLWORK, AND SOUND SYSTEM
The interior of the lighthouse lens room, where people dine at the top of the tower, has been given a bit of a new look, and a new sound. The new sound came in the form of a versatile and dynamic Yamaha stereo system that, for the first time, allows people to use a wide range of all the latest musical recording technologies, while delivering a rich, full sound. Concerning the new look, a sturdy new stainless steel handrail was installed, so that people would have something more secure to hold onto, as they come up through the hatch into the lens room dining area. Also, we solved our longstanding problems in regard to the lens room double doors that lead out to the catwalk. A long-missing wooden (interior) lens room door was created, using the specifications from the original door at the other (front range) light on the nearby Coast Guard property. In addition, we reset the second (exterior) cast-iron lens room door, which hadn't closed properly in years. The result has been a much improved weatherproof (drier, warmer, and less breezy) dining area. Our hats are off to local cabinetmaker and troubleshooter, George Pacenka, for making these improvements, plus the creation of a new wall-mounted wooden ice bucket holder, which he designed, using beautiful Victorian scrollwork, in keeping with the age of the lighthouse.
BACK EXTERIOR – A NEW COAT OF WHITEWASH
A new coat of whitewash was applied to the north (back) side of the tower. The previous coat from last year did not hold up well, due to application issues. The whitewash/lime mortar formula that we used on the Newburyport Lighthouse is the same original recipe used by the old lighthouse keepers, but it is difficult to find professional painters who have experience with the old techniques. Consequently, we have been forced to learn by trial and error. (Thanks to the persistence of Shelly Towle's Painting Company). One thing we discovered is that working on a windy day dries out the mixture prematurely, so that it doesn't adhere properly. That was the issue in last year's application, which has now been corrected. Typically, a whitewash application lasts from 3 to 5 years.