In 1983 the Grand Banks Schooner Museum Trust entered into a very unique agreement with the U. S. Coast Guard in the form of a lease agreement to maintain and care for Ram Island, the out buildings and property but not the tower. At that time there was no walkway to the tower and the USCG was responsible for maintaining the tower and the aid to navigation. Above is essentially what we agreed to take over. A fixer upper for sure.
It is interesting to note that at that time they considered it of no historical significance. However in 1987 it was placed on the NationalRegister of Historic Places. We would like to think it had something to do with our efforts to preserve and restore this valuable and historic property. Here in picture format is a brief summary of some of our efforts over the years.
This photo taken in 1972 shows the disrepair that the light station had fallen into. In 1977 the USCG removed the lantern room and set in on the island shore and replaced the brick work to the tower. The walkway had collapsed and been removed. Access to the light was gained by installing a ladder on the northern side of the tower.
No consideration of repair or restoration was afforded any of the structures on the island.In fact by 1983 just before the museum took on the task of restoration, demolition of the 1883 dwelling was recommended.
Light tower showing no walkway in 1993. Notice the brick work and paint in good condition. Notice also because there is no walkway there is no portal for a door, or in fact, no door at all. This will become a challenging issue later when the museum tackles the installation of a new walkway.
Ram Island in desperate need of care and restoration. The date of this photo is in the early 1980s.
Another example of the need to restore the victorian dwelling from 1883. Photo ca. 1983.
All images are clickable for larger viewing
Painting and scrapping underway. There was also replacing the roof, installing a security system and massive interior needs.
Five 40 foot sections along with one 14 foot section make up the walkway. Waiting delivery for the last 40 foot section.
Finally all 214 feet of the walkway is installed. in the fall of 2002.
After years of work, human and financial resources, the island looks fantastic.
The walkway leads from the shore to the tower and the door installed in 2009 now allows for proper USCG maintenance
Board of Survey 1978
Grand Banks Schooner Museum Trust,
25 Roads End, Boothbay Harbor, ME 03438