Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse Support?
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,
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.
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Whaleback Light
Related News Story:
Local group to join PETA lighthouse bid
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!