Maine’s Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, established to warn mariners of a dangerous obstruction in the shipping channel to busy Portland Harbor, has been owned since 1998 by the Spring Point Ledge Light Trust. A six-year effort by the Trust, a nonprofit organization formed by the Portland Harbor Museum, has culminated in the replacement of the badly deteriorated iron canopy over the structure’s lower gallery. Atlantic Mechanical Inc. of Wiscasset, Maine, completed the overhaul in July. “It was once an almost impossible dream,” says lighthouse volunteer Rusty Nelson, “but with perseverance, it finally paid off.”
During the first stage of the $52,000 job, Atlantic Mechanical workers removed all 32 plates of the canopy, then cleaned and painted all the supporting rafters and fittings. New panels made of steel were fabricated using the originals as templates, and the panels were powder coated using a high heat process prior to installation. When the lighthouse was built in 1897, the canopy plates were installed using rivets. Since that type of construction isn’t done anymore, the new panels were installed with stainless steel bolts that look much like the earlier rivets.
The new steel plates for the canopy were manufactured by Timmons Machine and Fabrication of Windham, Maine. For Bob Timmons, working on the job was somewhat of a homecoming, since he was once a student at Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute (now Southern Maine Community College) adjacent to the lighthouse and Fort Preble. The powder coating of the new panels was done by Performance Product Painting of Auburn, Maine.
Atlantic Mechanical’s president Larry Paul said, “We are proud to be working with Maine manufacturers to preserve a historic Maine lighthouse,” and added that the job was “pretty straightforward. Everything came together well.” Atlantic Mechanical is no stranger to lighthouses and other aids to navigation. Among their recent jobs, the company renovated the Nix’s Mate day beacon (see the December 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest), and they also built two replica lighthouses on the waterfront in Burlington, Vermont (see the November 2003 Lighthouse Digest). There will be a public celebration of the renovation, which is being planned for September 18.
This story appeared in the
Aug/Sep 2004 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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