SWAN’S ISLAND — The town has received a significant National Maritime Heritage Grant (NMHG) to help preserve the Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station.
This historic light station, almost 150 years old, is located at the entrance to Burnt Coat Harbor on the island’s southern coast.
The $85,000 grant will be used to make badly needed repairs to the exterior masonry of the light tower and also to the metal catwalk surrounding the lantern. Maine’s State Historic Preservation Office will oversee work made possible by the grant.
The grant does not cover the entire cost of the project, and requires a substantial contribution by the town. Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of the Swan’s Island Lighthouse and donors to the lighthouse restoration project, the town has the matching funds available that made it possible to obtain this grant.
The NMHG program is administered by the National Park Service. It is funded through a percentage of the proceeds from the sale or scrapping of obsolete vessels of the National Defense Reserve Fleet.
This year, the amount available for historic preservation projects was $2.6 million. Competition for the grants was fierce. The NMHG received funding requests totaling more than $8 million.
The Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station is located at the tip of Hockamock Head on Swan’s Island, in a 20-acre park with 1.8 miles of hiking trails. The keeper’s house and the tower are open to visitors during the summer season. The tower will continue to be open for most of the 2018 season while preparations are made to carry out the restoration.
For further information, visit burntcoatharborlight.com. The website is maintained by Friends of the Swan’s Island Lighthouse.