Lighthouse is Repainted and Reopened to the General Public
As with any lighthouse, no matter how much work is invested into the historic site, there will always be more to do on the horizon. You can count on it!
For example, over the last fifteen years at Pemaquid Point, the interior brickwork of the lighthouse has been repointed and restored, the staircase repainted and maintained, the brick vestibule building repointed and restored, the exterior granite tower repointed and restored, ironwork restored and the exterior of the tower repainted, not once, not twice, but three times. The latest exterior repainting effort occurring in 2021.
ALF’s Friends of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse (FPPL) have always remained vigilant with their care of the 1835 tower at Pemaquid Point and 2021 – despite it being another strange year, was no exception. One of the keys to preservation is carrying out renewal work on aspects such as coatings in a timely fashion to prevent the period between maintenance cycles from exceeding its effectiveness against the elements.
Under the “watch” of FPPL chairperson Marty Welt, the chapter has excelled at this task, and therefore, ensured that the venerable Pemaquid Point Lighthouse has remained structurally steadfast and gleaming during the past two decades.
In 2021, FPPL contracted with the J.B. Leslie Company of South Berwick, Maine, to have the granite tower repainted. The $11,300 project, completed in late June, included the exterior prep and repainting work of the iron lantern, stone tower and brick vestibule.
High profile maintenance work was not the only big accomplishment for the Friends of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse this year. As we all know, much of our normal way of life was disrupted in 2020 due to the pandemic. This included the light tower at Pemaquid Point being closed to public access last year.
A combination of the repainting project and ongoing public health situation in 2021 delayed the opening of the lighthouse to the public for educational tours, but as usual, FPPL rose to the occasion – determined not to let another year slip away. Chairman Marty Welt rallied enough volunteers to safely reopen the lighthouse for tours on a limited schedule in 2021.
This “above & beyond” effort allowed visitors to once again immerse themselves in the joy of lighthouses when they visited Pemaquid Point – and of course, they walked away learning some new things about lighthouse history too. One of them being a close-up look at cutting edge technology inside the beacon’s fourth order Fresnel lens.
In 2020, the United States Coast Guard replaced the beacon’s incandescent light source (1000-watt lamps) with a High Output LED Lighthouse Light Source (SL-LED) manufactured by a company called Sealite. The new technology was specifically designed to replace traditional lamps in classical lighthouse optics. With the lighthouse closed due to the pandemic in 2020, visitors did not have the chance to learn firsthand about this fascinating new chapter in the history of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. But they sure did in 2021!
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is “shining” in more ways than one in 2021 thanks to the dedicated FPPL volunteers and their ongoing hard work – and we are all richer for it!
Jack Boak says
Marty, thank you for your leadership taking care of our lighthouse! Just like steel ships and houses, proper M&R is vital to prevent oxygen and the elements from causing deterioration; because we know that we can pay now or later, but it ALWAYS costs more to pay later! Marty, thanks again for everything. I wish all a happy healthy safe new year!!
M. Angela Melville says
Dear Bob, thank you for your very interesting article, I had no idea about the new LED optic inside the lens. It makes absolute sense that the Coast Guard would install it.
Dick of course loved the entire lighthouse but was tremendously proud of the Fresnel lenses.
All of the volunteers do an exential and examplary job in maintaining such a beautiful historical Lighthouse and, in his name, I thank you all.
Happy healthy New Year!