The lighthouse is deteriorating badly. Yes, it does look spiffy if you’re cruising by in a boat, but if you look more closely – the way the Town's engineers are doing – you’ll find severe structural issues:
- - The mortar in the granite base is badly washing out
- - Spalling of the white painted brick is alarming, wafers of masonry splitting off and raining into the ocean
- - Both inside and out, original cast iron elements are corroding, including the lantern itself
- - The bridge needs major strengthening for the long haul
- - Worst of all, the structural steel girders supporting the interior floors are failing and need to be replaced
And while we’re at it, the time is perfect to address the re-hanging of an authentic fog bell to hang over the water.
During 2016 the Town of Isle au Haut was fortunate to have a major development grant provided by the State Historic Preservation Office to research these issues and design the most historically accurate measures to fix the problems. This will include restoring the bell and the double wood doors that gave access to it. Meanwhile, the people of the island have supported fundraising events from talent shows to triathlons, auctions and film series, raising dollars to get the project partially funded. The Friends of the Isle au Haut Lighthouse non-profit organization was formed in 2016 to provide further support to this restoration effort and to the lighthouse.
We have a long way to sail before we’re done: can you help us to keep the lighthouse shining? Please click on our “Donate” button to help.