NEW ENGLAND LIGHTHOUSE LOVERS
By Tom Kenworthy
In the fall of 2008 the New England Lighthouse Lovers (NELL)
received two requests for our Project H.O.P.E. (Hands On
Preservation Effort.) to be done in the spring of 2009.
The first, a request made by Jim Walker of the Cape Cod Chapter
of the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF) was requesting NELL
return to Long Point Lighthouse for a day of painting.
It was soon after the holidays were but a memory that Jim was
able to get a copy of the newly released tide charts. After
studying them carefully he saw there was one weekend the tides
would be low enough to allow us to safely drive across the sand
to Long Point Lighthouse, get the work completed and drive back
across the sand to safety before high tide returned. He called
to give me the news and the wheels were put in motion for NELL
to return to Cape Cod and Long Point Lighthouse in April.
The long awaited day finally arrived and the NELL volunteers met
at the Ranger Station on Cape Cod. After loading the equipment
and personal effects we piled into the chapters Suburban’s and
drove across the sand to our home for the next 2 nights…..Race
Point Lighthouse and the keepers house. The weather was
beautiful and several of us went for a walk on the beach after
we unloaded the suburbans.
The whales were visiting Cape Cod and it didn’t take long for
the word to spread thru our small group. Soon we were all
outside waiting and watching, trying to get a picture of them
breaching the water. Even with a long lens it proved to be a
difficult task at best and soon it was time for dinner and
pictures of the sunset.
Morning came quite fast that day and after a hearty breakfast
made by our in house chef, Maureen Kitching, we went to meet our
Park Ranger escort to take us to Long Point. The escort is
required due to the nesting Piping Plovers, a small bird that
nests in the sand.
Making the successful drive across the sand to Long Point, we
unloaded the equipment and touched up the gallery, painted the
interior of the lantern room including the floor, the ladder to
the lantern room, and the tower stairway. We also repainted the
exterior base of the tower. As we were painting the lantern
room, the whale watch boat passed by and we saw Amy W. waving to
We had painted the complete exterior 2 years ago and Jim stated
he was out there in the fall and it looked fine. Now, seeing it
after the winter passed, it looked like we were never there. The
winter played havoc with the lighthouse and it looks like we’ll
be returning when tide and weather permits.
Our second request came from the Friends of Rockland Breakwater
(FRWB) and was for a more extended period of time.
On Friday May 22, 2009 a small group of NELL members drove from
as far away as southwestern New Jersey, New York, Connecticut
and Massachusetts to Rockland, ME to help the FRBW restoration
efforts. The NELL volunteers started the work on Saturday
morning, the beginning of Memorial Day weekend finishing Tuesday
afternoon, painting the walls, trim and ceilings of four
interior rooms, as well as the stairwell, within the keeper’s
house at Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. The work included the
dwelling’s kitchen, living room and two second floor bedrooms.
The Bandocks and I had been to Rockland Breakwater lighthouse
prior to any restoration work beginning at the site and what we
saw was enough to stagger the mind at that time. Suffice to say
the interior was in dire need of a complete makeover. I must say
that the Friends of Rockland Breakwater have done an amazing job
over the past years in their restoration efforts and the New
England Lighthouse Lovers are proud to have played a small part
in the restoration of the beautiful sentinel that protects
Previous NELL Project H.O.P.E. work has been done at New London
Ledge Lighthouse CT, Pemaquid Point ME, and on Cape Cod MA --
Long Point, Wood End, and Race Point lighthouses. NELL has also
donated over $130,000.00 to New England Lighthouses and
Lighthouse Museum preservation efforts.
NELL has members in 28 states ranging from the six New England
states as far SW as Hawaii and as far NW as Washington State,
south to Texas and many states in between.
New England Lighthouse Lovers is a Chapter of The American
Lighthouse Foundation (ALF). For more information on or to join
the New England Lighthouse Lovers please go to
Link to photos of Long Point Lighthouse -
Link to photos of Rockland Breakwater -