Recently some of the board members of the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, along with some contractors and a Maine state representative, visited Maine’s Whaleback Lighthouse to start planning how public access can be made to the lighthouse.
As well as planning a way for the public to visit and tour the lighthouse, they also wanted to discuss and evaluate a way for contractors to safely get to the lighthouse and make the necessary repairs and restoration of the tower before it can be opened to the public.
They realize that the lighthouse does not have to be fully restored to open it to the public, but there are floor and structural concerns that must be dealt with first. As a safety precaution, the visitors, in groups of three, climbed the spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse, stopping to look at the former keeper’s quarters.
They are now in the process of raising funds and seeking grants to hopefully build a dock and start the first phase of the restoration. But, like any lighthouse restoration project, it will take time and tenacity before they will be able to open the historic beacon the public.
The current Whaleback Lighthouse dates from 1872 and was built to replace an earlier light built in 1831. The Coast Guard automated the lighthouse in 1963.
This story appeared in the
Nov/Dec 2013 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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