Don Perkins, who many call, “The Lighthouse Builder” has built and donated a replica of Maine’s Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse to the Friends of Rockland Breakwater.
In a small ceremony held on Rockland’s waterfront, Perkins unveiled his newest completion to the oohs and ahs of those in attendance.
Perkins’s gigantic replicas, all scaled to size are exact in every detail and are on display in museums, galleries, libraries and schools from New England to Ohio.
His largest replica ever made is of the Clark’s Point Lighthouse in New Bedford, MA, which included a model of Fort Taber where the lighthouse is located. It is now on display at the New Bedford Community Center on the grounds next to the historic fort. A replica of Maine’s Boon Island Light and Cape Neddick Light Station is on display at the Museum of Lighthouse History in Wells, Maine.
Although Perkins could easily sell his replicas for large amounts of money, he makes them solely as a hobby and never charges for his work, preferring instead to donate them to help draw attention to the non profit groups that are working to save the individual lighthouses.
Perkins and his wife, who are active members of the American Lighthouse Foundation, recall that one of their proudest moments was when he unveiled his replica of Maine’s Little River Light Station in Cutler, Maine, which was listed as one of the ten most endangered historic properties in the state. It was unveiled during the Transfer of Ownership Ceremony when ownership of the lighthouse was transferred from federal ownership to the American Lighthouse Foundation in July of 2002.
Perkins, dedicated the new replica of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse with a brass plaque which reads “Dedicated to Ken Black, “Mr. Lighthouse,” and is now on display at the Shore Village Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine. The museum, founded by Black has one of the largest collections of lighthouse lenses and artifacts in the nation.
Perkins said he was unusually excited about donating the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse on that particular day because it was he and his wife, Louise’s wedding anniversary. Needless to say, the Friends of Rockland Breakwater, which is a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, took the Perkins out a for great local ‘Downeast’ dinner.
This story appeared in the
August 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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