The Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse have spent the last decade working hard on the restoration of the 1902 sentinel, tackling everything from the interior walls and ceilings to the exterior cedar shakes and ironwork. Even the granite pier that supports the lighthouse has received some much-needed TLC.
The one historical component that the Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse (FRBL) strategically placed on the ‘back burner’ during this time was the wood floors in the keeper’s house. The long-range preservation plan called for the floors to absorb the heavy treading that each phase of restoration would inflict upon the wood before working to reclaim their stunning beauty once the ‘heavy lifting’ was done.
Well that time has arrived!
On September 26, 2011 the Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, kicked-off this long-awaited project with the humming sound of sanders echoing throughout the keeper’s dwelling. FRBL has contracted with Don Dickel Wood Floors of Winterport, Maine, to apply their professional expertise in restoring the vitality of the Douglas fir wood floors after consultation with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.
The five-man crew of Don Dickel Wood Floors spent the first day of the project carefully sanding decades of old, damaged finishes and grime from atop the floors in the kitchen, living room, bedrooms and the staircase leading to the second level.
Following sanding efforts, which will create a smooth, clean surface, crews will transition to the finish process later this week. The finish work will yield a high visual impact as the luster of the beautiful wood floors is reclaimed for the first time since the lighthouse was automated in 1965.
“The excitement for this project is quite high,” said Eric Davis, FRBL chairman. “Once the floors are restored, the Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse can then focus on outfitting each room inside the keeper’s house to the 1950s time period, which will really elevate the interpretive value each visitors obtains when visiting the lighthouse.”