Burnt Coat light restoration begins

SWAN’S ISLAND — The light tower at Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station on Swan’s Island soon will look like new.

After almost 150 years, the light tower was showing its age, with cracks and fissures in the masonry and severe rust beneath the catwalk around the metal lantern room. The town has contracted with Tito Masonry LLC of Portland for major restoration work on the tower. This was made possible by a grant from the National Maritime Heritage Program administered by the National Park Service and the Maine State Historic Preservation Office. The grant was matched with funds raised by the community.

Scaffolding went up in early May and a work crew is now on site. They will repair damaged masonry following guidelines for preservation of historic buildings. Work on the catwalk requires environmentally sensitive techniques for remediation and abatement. The work will continue for the next several weeks, culminating with painting all restored surfaces, after which the tower will again gleam as brightly as it did when commissioned in 1872.

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