(Above, during a Sept. 7, 2013, visit to Whaleback Lighthouse: L to R: Volunteer Bobbie Stevenson, director-at-large Ed Stevenson, historic preservation architect Deane Rykerson, operations manager Jeremy D’Entremont, chairman Ron Kolek, director-at-large Sharon White, director-at-large E.J. Warren.)
During the week of September 22, 2013, a work crew from J.B. Leslie Company of South Berwick, Maine, completed a major renovation project at Whaleback Lighthouse. Earlier this summer, a J.B. Leslie crew completed a cleanup of all loose lead paint and other materials inside the lighthouse.
Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses Chairman Ron Kolek, left, chats with Jim Leslie of the J.B. Leslie Company at Whaleback Lighthouse. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.
The $7000 September project entailed the following:
- Removing all rust from the surface of the ironwork on the lantern level, and treating the cleaned areas with a rust inhibitor.
- Coating the cleaned areas with an oil-based primer and applying two coats of marine paint.
- Re-caulking seams in the lantern deck to prevent water ingress.
- Replacing two cracked panes of glass in the lantern and re-caulking around all the lantern window panes.
- Re-caulking around the tower’s glass block windows.
- Re-establishing the hasp and other hardware on the entry door in order to securely lock the tower, and repainting the door.
L to R: Jim Leslie, Brian Johnson, and Kyle Brant of the J.B. Leslie Company, and Bob Trapani, Jr., executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation.
Bob Trapani, Jr., executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation, commented on the completed project: “Talk about a gleam that catches one’s eye! In the wake of this maintenance project, the lantern does not only look fabulous to view, but it is also an uplifting sight for the spirits of its preservationists. Anyone who has observed Whaleback Lighthouse during a big storm or seen the dramatic photos of massive waves slamming the tower, can imagine how the raging elements exact an unforgiving toll on the historic structure. To see this kind of important work completed – and just in time for the upcoming winter storm season, is wonderful!”
Jeremy D’Entremont, operations manager for Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, said, “The restoration of this classic wave-swept tower is progressing one important step at a time. Whaleback Lighthouse is one of the maritime icons of the Portsmouth/Kittery region. It’s seen by countless people from the shore on both the Maine and New Hampshire sides of the Piscataqua River, as well as from passing boats. To see it looking freshly painted is a wonderful thing. I am eagerly looking forward to the day — not too far off — when we’ll be able to bring public tours to share the enjoyment of this treasure.”
Photo by Jim Leslie
“As for the work that the J.B. Leslie Company carried out at Whaleback,” Bob Trapani, Jr., added, “all I can say is that the keepers of old would have beamed with pride at the professional workmanship and the beautiful end result. Hats off as well for ALF’s Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses. This kind of milestone in the history of Whaleback Lighthouse does not happen without the dedication and vigilance of modern day “keepers” who must raise vital public awareness and funds one person at a time. A job well done by everyone.”
The photos above, taken before the recent work, show extensive rust on the lantern and cupola as well as broken panes of glass.
All photos above and below are by Bob Trapani, Jr.