On Friday, January 23, 2015, project team members and interested individuals from the community gathered in Phippsburg to celebrate the historic and amazing transformation of the keeper’s house at Perkins Island Light Station.
The event, hosted by the Maine Island Trail Association, lauded the excellent work that went into the 2014 exterior restoration of the keeper’s house and recognized the wonderful kindness of Georgetown residents Tom and Jaana Sheehan who donated $45,000 to make the project a reality from a funding perspective.
Those in attendance not only showed their heartfelt appreciation for the Sheehan’s gift, but they also thanked Tom and Jaana for their initiative and dedication to Perkins Island Light Station.
Following the social hour, Brian Marcaurelle, Program Director for the Maine Island Trail Association, along with Tom Sheehan and Bob Trapani, Jr., Executive Director for the American Lighthouse Foundation, led a group discussion on the concept of preserving the achievements at the island and sustaining them long-term.
The dialogue that ensured was as passionate as it was diverse, with a number of ideas being discussed that ranged from organizational structure and fundraising for future projects (including the station’s oil house and bell tower) to operational challenges at the island and the need for more practical public access.
It was very evident during the celebration party that many people have a special place in their hearts for Perkins Island Light Station and want to lend a helping hand to Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands (owners of the island and light station buildings…all but the tower which is cared for by ALF) to the effort of preserving this historic gem for future generations.
Afterwards, ALF’s Bob Trapani, Jr. gave a presentation on the eight week process to restore the exterior of the keeper’s house. During the program, Trapani talked about the professional work of the J.B. Leslie Company who served as the contractor for the project, as well as the challenges the company faced getting to and from the island on a daily basis.
Trapani’s presentation also highlighted the partnership between Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands and the nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation, which made the project possible from an operational standpoint. ALF served as the project manager for the 2014 exterior restoration of the keeper’s house.
With a plethora of possibilities to discuss regarding the present and future of Perkins Island Light Station, representatives from Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands, the American Lighthouse Foundation , Maine Island Trail Association and the community will have plenty of exciting opportunities to consider in the near future as the team works together to preserve a Kennebec River treasure!