The 1820 Bakers Island lighthouse stands at the entrance to Salem Harbor, Massachusetts. We acquired the Bakers Island Light Station from the United States Coast Guard in August 2014, and we are eager to start repairing it. It is an important, maritime property and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – but it needs some tender, loving restoration!
Where is Bakers Island Light and how do you get there?
The lighthouse is on Bakers Island located 3 miles outside the Port of Salem, Massachusetts. The property is situated on a private island. There hasn’t been any public access for many years. This summer, we are going to start taking people out on our landing boat for escorted tours (even better, money from fun tours will help fund restoration)!
HOW TO SAVE A LIGHTHOUSE (and why we need YOU!)
We are SO EXCITED to take care of this historic property! We've done a lot of work out there already (see a few before/after photos below) BUT, restoring a historic light station isn’t easy, or cheap! This is why we are asking you to help. We created this handy list so you can understand what needs to be done:
1. Fly it out! There isn’t a dock that we can use – so to get the materials out to this island we will fly everything out by helicopter. Luckily there’s a helo pad ready and waiting by the lighthouse.
2. Scrub it down! Lichen, mold, rust and salt are eating away at the lighthouse. They are happy but we are NOT. First step is to wash and scrap the masonry tower and wire brush the metal lantern room. Everything must be CLEAN.
3. Build it up! The stucco is pitted and has fallen off in places – especially along the northeast side where the nor’easter storms buffet the lighthouse. We need to patch the tower all over.
4. Replace rot! The original lighthouse tower windows rotted away a long time ago and the new windows installed in 1996 are rotten too. We are building new double hung windows to make everything look spiffy again.
5. Paint the lantern room! At the top of the tower, the salt air is rusting the iron lantern room. Wire brush and new paint are a must here.
We're ready to get going – helicopter and all!
We've already done a lot of work out there!
Rewards? Heck yeah!
Rewards include t-shirts and mason jar mugs to artwork and boat trips aboard our new landing craft, Naumkeag, to the Bakers Island Lighthouse! You won't be disappointed.
Looking for more info about what the boat trip is like? Please visit our webpage to read all about what you need to know before you go-- www.essexheritage.org/boat-tours-bakers-island-light-station.
What happens If we exceed our goal of $30K?
We are so glad you asked! There is definitely more work that needs to be done on the two keepers’ houses and on the lantern building including repairing the plumbing and improving the solar power system. Once we finish these, we want to restore the landscape so it more closely resembles the property at the turn of the last century -– and removing some of the underbrush will also reduce the risk of fire.
Risks and challenges
We foresee very little risk for our backers if this project is successfully funded because:
1. We’re crazy about this lighthouse just like the weather is crazy in coastal New England – and the weather is the one real risk associated with our restoration project. If funded we will start the project right away with the intention to have restoration completed by the end of summer.
2. If for some reason we don’t get all repairs done this summer, trust that we will get it done because we have to get it done -- the light must shine on!
And in the meantime—thank you for your support. We’re profoundly grateful for your help.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)