Southeast Light restoration underway

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 4:45pm

The familiar blinking green light emanating from the lantern room of the Southeast Lighthouse will be dark for the forseeable future.

The Coast Guard came to the lighthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 9, to turn off the light while a restoration effort is underway. Mariners need not be wary, however, because a secondary aid to navigation light, located atop a smaller shed located closer to the bluffs behind the lighthouse, will be lit in the meantime. According to Lisa Nolan, Chair of the Southeast Light Foundation, each lighthouse has its own distinctive flash pattern and color — or both.

The restoration is being overseen by Abcore Restoration Company out of Narragansett and will include the repair of the cast iron decking, the installation of new brass railings, doors, ladders and other cast iron components that will be created from original designs from 1873. 

Nolan said great care is being taken to protect the lens inside the lantern room. It’s a first order fresnel lens made in Paris and is lighted by a 1,000 watt bulb. Its luminescence can be seen for 20 miles, said Nolan.

The Southeast Lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark. It was moved back from the eroding edge of Mohegan Bluff in 1993, following a 10-year campaign to rescue the lighthouse from its perilous position near the edge of the bluff. — Lars Trodson