Swans Island Lighthouse plans

Gwen May wants everyone to come to the Old Fashioned Record Hop to “strut your stuff.”  She says, “The Hop will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 6, at the Odd Fellows Hall.  The DJ is Roger “Buzzy” Keene of PoP Rocks fame and the donations will go to the Swan’s Island Historical Society.”  Gwen also noted to me that she would probably dress in costume era clothes: her dress with the crinolines, loafers and bobby socks, cat eye glasses (broken, but I encouraged taping them), a “going steady” pin or her love’s wedding ring or class ring around her neck, Elvis Presley style.  Besides the inevitable fun you will have, just seeing Gwen and others in dress or dance is an evening well spent.

Fran Chetwynd shares some exciting news: The Lighthouse Committee of the Town of Swans Island is pleased to announce that the town has received a National Maritime Heritage Grant (NMHG) for continued restoration of the Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station. This historic light station, almost 150 years old, is located on Swans Island at the entrance to Burnt Coat Harbor. The grant, in the amount of $85,000, will be used to make badly needed repairs to the exterior masonry of the light tower and also to the metal catwalk surrounding the lantern.

The grant does not cover the entire cost of the project, and requires a substantial contribution by the town to the cost of the restoration work. Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of the Swan’s Island Lighthouse (FOSIL) and generous donors who have contributed both large and small amounts to the lighthouse restoration project, the town has matching funds available. These donations made it possible for the town to obtain this grant.

The NMHG program is administered by the National Park Service, part of the federal Department of the Interior. It is funded through a percentage of the proceeds from the sale or scrapping of obsolete vessels of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF). This year, the amount available for historic preservation projects was $2.6 million. Competition was fierce: the NMHG received funding requests totaling more than $8 million. Maine’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will oversee work made possible by the grant.

The Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station is located at the tip of Hockamock Head on Swans Island, in a 20-acre park with 1.8 miles of hiking trails. The keeper’s house and the tower are open to visitors during the summer season. We expect the tower will continue to be open for most of the 2018 season while preparations are made to carry out the restoration. For further details on the restoration and on arrangements for visiting the light station, please visit www.burntcoatharborlight.com. The website is maintained by FOSIL.

Happy Birthday to Joshua B. Turner, Alexis Sheridan, Annie Joyce Swartzwelder, and Dot Barnes.

If you have news to share, please email or call me by Sunday noon if you need it to be included in the following edition.  E-mail me at [email protected] or call me at (207) 526-4488.

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