Town Awarded Grant To Complete Tower Restoration

After some 15 years of planning, fund raising, volunteer work and historic restoration, the Town of Swan’s Island is set to complete the restoration of its Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse. The “golden spike” was provided by the Maine Community Foundation through a $20,000 grant to complete the interior masonry restoration of the nearly 150 year old lighthouse tower, first lit in 1872. The grant is supplemented by a contribution of $30,500 from the Friends of the Swan’s Island Lighthouse (FOSIL, The $50,500 contract has been signed with the award winning J.B. Leslie, Co., Inc. with work scheduled to begin September 13th and to be completed early in October. The contract also incorporates needed repairs to be made to the concrete pillars of the bell house.

This final masonry work means that the Town and all those who contributed, can celebrate the sesquicentennial lighting of the lamp next August, in the full knowledge that the 2007 restoration plan is completed and the focus can now be essential maintenance. That plan and the more detailed Engineering Work Plan for tower restoration, were approved by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission early in this process. The lighthouse complex consists of four buildings – keeper’s house, fuel house, bell house and the light tower, which is still a working aid to navigation serviced by the U.S. Coast Guard. The town owns the peninsula on which the lighthouse stands and on which two miles of magnificent trails have been constructed.

This final restoration project, supported by MaineCF, involves erection of
scaffolding inside the tower, removal and repair of all damaged mortar joints of the tower interior (about 60-70%), removal and pouring of a new entry slab, and cleaning, rust treating and painting the original metal stairs and landings plus painting the watch room floor. The contract crew will be housed on the island, with housing provided by Lighthouse Committee volunteers.

MaineCF has been a partner in this enterprise over the long haul, having provided five grants at key junctures in the restoration process. We are very grateful for their interest and support and for that of others who have contributed along the way. The town will issue further press releases next summer about the lighthouse sesquicentennial plans and events. Meanwhile, come visit the lighthouse. It closes for the season right after Maine Lighthouse Day, Saturday, September 11.

What Visitors Have To Say

Our stay at the lighthouse keepers apartment was lovely. the place has been decorated in a simple and serene way and the kitchen had all we needed. The view and location is splendid and all involved with the property were friendly.

- Teresa, September 2023

Our stay at the lighthouse — and our week on Swan's Island — exceeded expectations. We packed light, arrived via bikes, and easily navigated the island without a car. Tracy and everyone we met welcomed us and went out of their way to make us feel at home. We felt very privileged to stay in this thoughtfully restored historic building. Kudos to the tireless volunteers! We look forward to returning.

- Tekla, September 2023

The Lightkeeper’s apartment is a unique and beautiful treasure, not to be missed! I feel like I want to tell everyone I know about this cozy, charming little place, yet at the same time keep it a secret; to be shared only amongst those who know. You get to live in a lighthouse, on an island, off the coast of Maine!!! Need I say more?!?

- Dillon September 2023

This was the trip and stay of a lifetime! New England and island life at its best. We had the opportunity and fortune to meet some of the nicest people ever! Swans Island people gave us a giant welcoming hug!!

- Susan and family, July 2021

Our hosts were WONDERFUL and helpful, and being able to go up into the lighthouse tower was amazing. An all around unforgettable experience. THANK YOU!

- Michael and Kurt, June 2021

This is our first time to Swan’s Island and the Keeper’s House Apartment….How lucky we are to have found this treasure! We loved our week of peace, nature, and beauty. The shimmering water, the ever-changing sky and clouds, the trails in the woods …made for a restorative week.

- Paul and Bonnie, August 2020

This place quietly, simply, intoxicates you. Senses are full; smell, sights, sounds … yet not enough to overwhelm, just enough to soothe, just enough to make you fully aware of the natural gift Hockamock offers.

- Conrad and Michelle, August 2020

What a perfect holiday!! … Heaven on earth …lobster every night for dinner, fabulous hikes, amazing kayaking, spectacular sunsets…But perhaps the most cherished memory is the kind and lovely people of this island….

- Mary Beth & Michael, Sept. 2020

I have always wanted to stay at a lighthouse and now my dream has come true! The keeper’s quarters and the entire lighthouse park completely exceeded my expectations! Thanks for providing everything my son and I needed for a perfect stay and such amazing hospitality….

- Kristin and Izak, Sept. 2020

What a magic place. Sun and moon glinting off the water. The lighthouse beam in the trees, the sound of a gentle surf when the tide is in. The bell buoy ringing in the channel. Wonderful sunsets.

- Mike and Kathy, September 2019

The view out our window - moonlight on the ocean, porpoises, giant owls - plus the sound of the gong, and the wild berries…truly a special experience.

- Rebecca and Rich, August 2019

The apartment is beautiful. And the view is amazing! We could not have asked for a better vacation. We plan to return!

- Ann and Dave, September 2018

Thank you to ALL who made our stay so wonderful and relaxing. To the Islanders who told of trails to explore, thank you! We look forward to returning to this little piece of heaven on earth.

- Heather and Jamie, September 2018

From the amazing Light Keeper’s House to the beautiful view from the porch of the same, the amazingly friendly people, and our daily hikes along this rugged Maine Coast. Everything was perfect.

- Leesa and Howard, August 2018

Everything is magical! This is one of the best vacations! Ever!

- Ronald and Janet, July 2018

The beauty you offer is immeasurable. The clarity of light, wind, and Downeast character here recharged me.

- Lee, June 2018

What a wonderful place! We were in awe the moment we arrived. What a quiet and peaceful location for a vacation.

- David and Lorie, June 2018

You truly have a treasure perched out here atop the rocks with the vast sea at the doorstep. We watched a bright moon spilling its light onto the water, listening to the music of the waves, and wondering anew at the stars emerging in the dark sky.

- Susan, September 2017

This has been a lifetime experience! The beauty of Swan’s Island can’t be described in words or photographs, for they just don’t do it justice. I look forward to coming back again next year!

- Lacy, September 2017

We just stayed there and it is tremendous. The view and setting are amazing. The quality of the Keeper's house (2nd floor) is excellent. It is fresh, well decorated, and spacious.

- Mary, July 2017

We are fortunate to have traveled to many places in this world, but still contend, by far, this is the prettiest place on earth. Stay in the keeper's house. You will not be disappointed!!!! It is special.

- Spencer, July 2017