The American Lighthouse Foundation is pleased to announce the newest addition to the list of historic lighthouse properties that the organization cares for – the keeper’s house at Maine’s Owls Head Light Station.
ALF, which already cares for the 1852 lighthouse at the historic site, will soon be opening the keeper’s house at Owls Head Light Station to the general public as an educational interpretive center. In addition, the dwelling will serve as the new location for the ALF headquarters, which is presently located at 464 Main Street in Rockland, Maine.
The opportunity to open the keeper’s house to the public was made possible by the American Lighthouse Foundation entering into a license agreement for the property with the United States Coast Guard, which still owns the light station. The license agreement enables ALF to not only share the 1854 wood dwelling with visitors, but it also provides the organization with the ability to maintain and preserve this important aspect of Owls Head Light Station.
“Obtaining the license for the keeper’s house is a perfect fit for the American Lighthouse Foundation,” said ALF President Eric Davis. “I cannot think of a better way to promote our mission of lighthouse preservation than to be headquartered at a lighthouse! This is a win-win for the organization as a whole and our local Midcoast Maine communities.”
When fully outfitted, the educational interpretive center inside the keeper’s house will not only share with visitors the importance of saving and preserving lighthouses, it will also spotlight the rich history associated with these coastal sentinels, why we love them so much and the vital role they play in our communities today. The public will also be able to learn about the great things ALF and its chapters are accomplishing throughout New England, as well as lighthouses that they can visit, tour and spend the night at!
“The history and charm of lighthouses is hardly confined to the past,” said ALF Executive Director Bob Trapani, Jr. “These beautiful sites still have an amazing story to tell that transcends time – stories of bravery, heroism, isolation, storms and dedication to our fellow man that never fail to intrigue and fascinate the visiting public.”
Trapani went on to say, “The new interpretive center that will be created inside the keeper’s house will help bring this tradition of human vigilance, endurance and benevolence to life in conjunction with tours of the lighthouse itself – and what a better place for visitors to experience this legacy than at gorgeous Owls Head Light Station overlooking West Penobscot Bay!”
The American Lighthouse Foundation was a 2011 recipient of the “Heritage Preservation Award” from the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce for the nonprofit’s $80,000 interior and exterior restoration project of Owls Head Lighthouse in summer 2010. Not only has the lighthouse been beautifully restored, visitors are able to climb the lighthouse and admire the stunning views of the bay as well, thanks to the efforts of ALF’s local chapter, Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights, whose volunteers open the light tower each summer from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.
Overall, ALF cares for 22 historic lighthouses throughout New England and has invested nearly $3 million dollars over the last two decades into lighthouse restoration at sites like Race Point on Cape Cod, Maine’s Wood Island, Pemaquid Point, Rockland Breakwater, Owls Head, and Little River, as well as at Portsmouth Harbor in New Hampshire, Pomham Rocks in Rhode Island and Avery Point in Connecticut, to name a few.
The American Lighthouse Foundation expects the keeper’s house to be open to visitors in early 2013. Stay tuned for more details!