Digest>Archives> Jan/Feb 2007

Lighthouse Group Installs Fence at Newport Harbor Lighthouse


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Thanks to the efforts of the Maine based American Lighthouse Foundation a new historically accurate fence is being installed on the pier at Rhode Island’s Newport Harbor Lighthouse.

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The fence, which is the first phase of a comprehensive restoration plan for the historic lighthouse, was made possible in part by a grant from the 1772 Foundation.

A total of 460 Mahogany pickets were hand cut, prepped and finished for the fence by Abcore Construction Co. before they were installed at the lighthouse pier.

Bob Trapani, Jr., Executive Director of the American Lighthouse Foundation, of Wells, Maine, said, “We have accomplished the goal of installing a fence that creates a visual resemblance to the historic appearance of the site when it comes to the picket fence surrounding the lighthouse, and at the same time work to ensure compliance with Rhode Island state code by having the picket supports placed on the outside so that children cannot use the braces to climb up from the pier onto the fence.”

Trapani went on to explain that the installation of the fence presents the nonprofit group, which oversees the historic preservation of the lighthouse under a license from the Coast Guard, the opportunity to open the lighthouse on occasion to the public without the fear of anyone falling off the pier and into the water. They hope that these efforts will encourage more donations to help care for the lighthouse well into the future.

Keith Lescarbeau, president of Abcore Restoration Company, pointed out the quality and care that went into making the hardwood fence and that it will only need to be painted once every five to eight years thanks to its durable construction materials. Trapani added that, as well as greatly enhancing the site, it has brought back some of the elegance of sorts to the historic lighthouse.

The Newport Harbor Lighthouse, which is also known by many locals as Goat Island Light, was built in 1842 to replace an earlier light that stood at the site. The lighthouse once included a keepers house that was demolished after being severely damaged when hit by a submarine in 1923.

The American Lighthouse Foundation, a nonprofit lighthouse preservation group, headquartered in Wells, Maine, has a large number of New England Lighthouses under their auspices. To learn more about the group or make a donation to support their efforts you can visit their web site at www.LighthouseFoundation.org or by mail at P.O. Box 889, Wells, ME 04090. You can reach them by phone at (207) 646-0245.

This story appeared in the Jan/Feb 2007 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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