Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse Support?

blogwhaleback From June 17 to Aug 17, 2007, the federal government announced the Whaleback Ledge Light was available to eligible non-profit organizations expressing interest in owning the Lighthouse. Several news stories and blog posts reported the sensational headline campaign of PETAs War on Fish after PETA submitted a letter of interest to acquire the historic granite Lighthouse marking the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor.

Yet, the equally astonishing news of the missing local support from the coastal communities of Portsmouth, NH and Kittery, ME to save their symbol of Portsmouth Harbor has not been reported.

Ironically, both Maine and New Hampshire disputed whether the historic Tower was a Maine Lighthouse or New Hampshire Lighthouse for years until the Supreme Court decision established the Lighthouse was built on a ledge located on the Maine side of the Piscataqua River channel near Kittery Point, Maine in 1976.

The lack of local support is surprising in a time when New England communities are saving their Lighthouses. Perhaps, both sea towns were hoping the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF), who has a license to preserve the historical landmark, would apply for ownership.

And, according to the news story published last week by Seacoast online, the ALF is one of five non-profit agencies interested in ownership yet, Tim Harrison, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, has said “his organization would like to become its new steward, they simply don’t have the money to maintain such a structure, partly because of its island location.” Unfortunately, the story does not explain why the American Lighthouse Foundation submitted their letter of interest after they determined their organization does not have the financial resources to maintain the stone Beacon because of the remote offshore location last year.

Furthermore, Kittery’s town manager, Jon Carter stated Whaleback is a “historic icon to the Portsmouth/ Kittery port entrance, but he is not sure his town wants to take charge and become its owner or co-owner.” Kittery may be the first New England community to leave the fate of their quintessential Lighthouse to a outside organization!

Seacoast online lists the following “eligible” non-profit organizations as:
1. the American Lighthouse Foundation of Rockland, Maine,
2. the American Light Foundation of Bedminster, New Jersey,
3. Beacon Preservation Inc. of Ansonia, Connecticut,
4. Lifewise Community Projects of Hampton, New Hampshire,
and,
5. PETA of Norfolk, Va.

And, I doubt the local residents will appreciate a PETA War on Seafood Lighthouse cafe on their waterfront!

For more information about Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.

blue_starMap Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Whaleback Light

Related Posts:
A Beacon to save Fish?
Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse for sale?

Related News Story:
Local group to join PETA lighthouse bid

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Please note: Timothy Harrison has added a comment explaining why the American Lighthouse Foundation submitted their letter of interest as the only opportunity in the process to find resources or partners who will “work together to restore and maintain the structure.” For everyone who appreciates the picturesque scenic coast, I hope Tim is successful! The quaint seacoast villages of Kittery would not be the same without their popular rugged stone Lighthouse!

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About Debbie Dolphin

Lighthouse author and photographer living in New England

Posted on August 30, 2007, in Preservation News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I agree with you!
    Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is a symbol of Portsmouth Harbor. In my humble view, Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse also serves as the outer sentinel symbol of Portsmouth Harbor.

    Both Lighthouses are important navigational aids to Portsmouth Harbor and both need the same care which Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse receives by the hard-working volunteers of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse!

  2. Maybe I’m getting carried away with comments on this story,
    but I feel I must comment on Debbie’s last post, which referred to Whaleback Lighthouse as “the symbol of Portsmouth Harbor.” The lighthouse is located offshore at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, a few miles from the port of Portsmouth. While it serves as a guide to Portsmouth, I wouldn’t call it a symbol of the harbor. The lighthouse that better fits that role is Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, NH, which is cared for by the hard-working volunteers of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

  3. Perhaps, there is plenty of local support for Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse
    as noted by Jeremy. Unfortunately, online news reports this past summer painted a different picture which led to the posting the question about local support.

    Without Tim Harrison’s qualifying comment, ownership of Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse could be transferred to a organization outside of the region. The good news is your local confidence for partnerships preserving the symbol of Portsmouth Harbor!

  4. There is plenty of local support for preserving Whaleback Lighthouse.
    It’s likely that ALF will be involved; exactly what the role will be isn’t clear yet.

    It’s too early to say much right now, but I’m very confident the lighthouse will be well cared for. It will be a challenge, like all offshore lighthouses, but partnerships will be the key, I believe.

  5. The American Lighthouse submitted a letter of interest
    because that letter then gives the group the opportunity to apply for ownership, which otherwise would not be possible under the process.

    It is still possible that ALF could find viable partners that could work together to restore and maintain the struture or find sources of funds that might previoulsy been unavailable or unknown to the organization.

    Tim Harrison

  1. Pingback: New England Lighthouse Treasures » Blog Archive » Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse Tour

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