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Lighthouse Repair On Track

Appraoching White Island by boat / SeacoastNH.com
ISLES OF SHOALS

Thanks to teacher Sue Reynolds and The Lighthouse Kids, White Island the endangered White Island light has been stabilized. But there is much more to do. More grant money is going into making the rocky island more accessible and to repairing the crumbling keeper’s cottage at the Isles of Shoals. Read the latest news.

 

 

 

HISTORY: See the way it was 

1772 Foundation Gives $25,000 to Lighthouse Kids

North Hampton (Summer 2006) —The 1772 Foundation has demonstrated its support for the Lighthouse Kids once again, with a $25,000 gift to continue restoring the White Island Lighthouse Station. The Lighthouse Kids are part of the North Hampton School’s Community Service Learning program, in which seventh graders have worked since September 2000 to secure the future of New Hampshire’s only offshore lighthouse.

Through years of persuasive letter writing, public presentations, government lobbying, merchandise sales, and fundraisers, such as the Lighthouse LobStars art project, the Lighthouse Kids have raised over $500,000 and are still hard at work. The latest award is the third gift from the 1772 Foundation, bringing their total support of the project to $85,000.

White Island LIghthouse (c) SeacoastNH.com

Years of harsh winter weather on the Isles of Shoals’ White Island—located six miles off the coast and part of the Rye Historic District--combined with a lack of funding for the state-owned lighthouse, left the tower in danger of collapse. "There were cracks wide-enough for the students to stick their hands in. You could see through to the inside of the tower," explains Lighthouse Kid Coordinator and seventh grade science teacher, Sue Reynolds.

Gretchen Gabrielson, the second Lighthouse Kid in her family, describes her first experience meeting the 1772 Foundation board members last summer during a site visit, "When I first signed up for the project, I thought it would be fun to see the lighthouse, but when I saw the Kids come back from other years to speak to the trustees, I realized how much their experience meant to them. They have done so much for us and it is something I am proud to be a part of…"

While the project is ongoing, the efforts of these students have been rewarded by the generosity of the local community and lighthouse fans nationwide. By the summer of 2005 the Lighthouse Kids and their supporters fully matched a $250,000 Save America’s Treasures federal grant and the endangered lighthouse tower was repaired. Through becoming the first youth chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation and creating a unique Memorandum of Agreement with the state, the Lighthouse Kids have had amazing learning opportunities in their work to preserve this icon for future generations. While the tower has been fixed, the work to restore the rest of the station continues.

"We are very grateful to the 1772 Foundation. The funds they have given us are designated toward our remaining goals: to build a railway landing to improve island access, to restore the Keeper’s Cottage and generator building, to repair walkways and to install interpretive signs. I am proud of these students. The Lighthouse Kids have come so far and plan to remain stewards to make sure that the station is maintained long into the future," describes Jennifer King, a grant writer assisting their efforts.

G. Stanton Geary, President of the 1772 Foundation explains, "While we think the lighthouse is certainly a worthy project in light of its historical importance on the New Hampshire coast, we think it's particularly important that the younger generation develop an awareness of their local history, and the importance of preserving it." Perhaps other students will follow their lead. For more information on the project visit the Lighthouse Kids web site.

INSIDE: White Island Light 
SEE: Damage to the Keeper’s House  

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