“Devastating Storm Leaves Iconic Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Ruins: Can It Be Restored?”

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The Iconic Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Maine Sustains Major Damage in Recent Storm

The Pemaquid Point Light, a beloved landmark in Maine, has been severely damaged in a powerful storm that swept through the region. The lighthouse, which is almost 200 years old and featured on the state quarter, suffered significant destruction to its historic bell house. However, the caretakers of the lighthouse are determined to rebuild and restore the damaged portions.

A Devastating Storm Hits Pemaquid Point Light

Recently, a fierce storm brought heavy rains and high winds to the Northeast, wreaking havoc on the Pemaquid Point Light in Bristol, Maine. This iconic lighthouse, known for its picturesque location on the coast, was battered by strong waves and wind gusts of up to 79 mph.

Maine lighthouse

The iconic bell tower building at Pemaquid Point Light stands with makeshift modifications on Jan. 11, 2024, in Bristol, Maine, the day after being pummeled by damaging winds and waves from powerful storm. The lighthouse represents Maine on its state quarter. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The Bell House Takes the Brunt of the Damage

Regrettably, the bell house of the Pemaquid Point Light suffered the most devastation during the storm. The structure, which dates back to the 19th century, was reduced to a pile of bricks. Shelley Gallagher, the beach manager for Bristol’s parks and recreation department, revealed that the high waves and winds caused the destruction. The bell house was once home to the lighthouse’s fog bell, which was used to alert mariners.

Rebuilding the Historic Lighthouse

The responsibility for the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park lies with the town of Bristol. Despite the extensive damage, town officials are optimistic about rebuilding the damaged portions of the lighthouse. However, they face a race against time as another storm is expected to hit the region on Friday. The authorities are determined to secure the site and begin restoration efforts before the next storm arrives.

Preserving a Piece of History

The Friends of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse oversee the maintenance of the lighthouse tower itself. Fortunately, the tower did not sustain any damage during the storm. The bell that was housed within the bell house, forged in the 1840s, remained unharmed due to its removal in August to address rotting wood issues.

Seeking Federal Assistance

The town of Bristol plans to seek federal funding to aid in the cost of rebuilding the damaged portions of the lighthouse. This financial support will be crucial in ensuring that this historic landmark can be restored to its former glory.

Impact of the Winter Storm

The recent winter storm had a widespread impact on coastal areas in New Hampshire and Maine. Along with the Pemaquid Point Light, another iconic lighthouse, Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, also suffered some damage. The storm caused extensive destruction to waterfront businesses, wharfs, and vessels. Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, described the damage as “unprecedented” and emphasized the ongoing assessment of the full scope of the destruction.

Rebuilding and Restoring Pemaquid Point Light

Despite the challenges posed by the recent storm, the caretakers of Pemaquid Point Light are determined to rebuild and restore this historic landmark. The town of Bristol, with the support of federal funding, aims to reconstruct the damaged portions before the next storm hits the region. The resilience and dedication of the community ensure that this beloved lighthouse will continue to shine brightly for generations to come.