Gerald C. “Jed” Brown traveled the world through the years of his military and professional life, but he always looked forward to his time back home in his beloved state of Maine. More than 25 years ago, Jed bought a home in the little midcoast town of Stockton Springs. He planned to live there full time after his retirement in 2006. Sadly, cancer took Jed’s life before his dream could become reality. Another of Jed’s dreams is coming to pass, however, thanks to a new volunteer group.
Located on the west side of the entrance to the Penobscot River in Stockton Springs, scenic Fort Point was Jed Brown’s “favorite place in the world.” The pretty Fort Point Lighthouse shares the park with the remains of historic Fort Pownall, established in 1759. The lighthouse, a short drive from Route One, is one of the most easily accessible in Maine. You may recall the lighthouse from the beautiful fall photograph taken by Ron Foster that appeared on the cover of the November 2007 issue of Lighthouse Digest.
Terry Cole, park ranger at 154-acre Fort Point State Park and caretaker of the Fort Point Lighthouse, recalls that he often took Jed to the top of the lighthouse tower. “For several years,” Cole says, “when I took Jed and his family up in the tower I would exclaim - mostly in jest - that I really disliked the shed dormer on the front of the keeper’s house. The high winds blow right up the bay so there are always shingles missing. But Jed took it seriously and when he retired he began to talk with the bureau people about restoring the roof with the original 1899 gable windows.”
Jed Brown’s wife, Jean, has worked with the State of Maine to form the new Friends of Fort Point State Park, with the goal of completing some much needed improvements to the park and lighthouse. The plans include about $28,000 in repairs to the keeper’s house and lighthouse tower, including the replacement of electrical wiring and roof repairs. There are plans to convert the adjacent carriage house into a visitor center, and to install permanent informational panels on the grounds. The largest cost in the projected improvements is an estimated $112,000 for the installation of restroom facilities and other upgrades to the grounds and parking lot.
In all, the planned work will cost about $206,000. Jean Brown has already raised about $20,000. “Right now,” says Terry Cole, “the house electrical system has been surveyed and a bid will go out to get it back to code. Our engineer is working with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to replace the windows of the house soon.”
You can help support this community effort by sending a tax-deductible donation to Friends of Fort Point State Park, c/o Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, 106 Hogan Road, Bangor, ME 04401. Checks should be made payable to “Treasurer, State of Maine - Friends of Fort Point.” The Friends are also working to establish a volunteer program to create a Sesquicentennial Garden in the state park with benches, trees, and flowers for all to enjoy. Donors can purchase an engraved “Commemorative Friends of Fort Point Paver” or donate a tree for the garden area.
This story appeared in the
December 2007 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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