Monday, August 13, 2007

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Last semester, I asked my students for suggestions of places to go in Maine before I leave. This lighthouse was suggested by many. From this article, it looks like it's a good thing I didn't go last semester but that it will be well worth it when I do go sometime in the near future.


38-FOOT TOWER: Pemaquid Point project almost done
Blethen Maine Newspapers

BRISTOL -- The tower of granite stones that has supported the historic lighthouse and Fresnel lens at Pemaquid Point for 172 years should be rock solid for at least another century.
A crew of masons are just about done restoring the 38-foot tower at Pemaquid Point Light, an undertaking lighthouse supporters said was long overdue.

The project represents the first concerted effort to stabilize the landmark since it was built in 1835.

The $106,000 restoration project was funded by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation, and about $46,000 raised by Friends of Pemaquid Point Light.

"We are witnessing lighthouse history," said Bob Trapani Jr., executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation. "This project is the first significant structural repair since it was built in 1835."

Masons from the J.B. Leslie Co. of South Berwick have spent weeks repointing granite blocks, replacing mortar joints and removing exterior coating. They are now recovering the tower's surface with a paint that is more breathable -- prior coats had trapped moisture, causing mortar to erode faster.

Their work, which is scheduled to end next week, ensures that future generations of lighthouse buffs will get to enjoy what is arguably one of the most recognized lighthouses on Maine's coast.

Pemaquid Point Light's image appears on the state quarter and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The American Lighthouse Foundation has a lease agreement with the United States Coast Guard to operate and maintain the lighthouse through 2021.

The Foundation works with a local group, Friends of Pemaquid Point Light.

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