The lighthouse tower is by far the most prominent and popular feature of Wood Island Lighthouse.
Our first tower project, the installation of new handrails on the tower stairs, was finished in July of 2008. The new handrails allows participants of our summer tours to safety ascend the tower stairs to the lantern room, where they can experience Wood Island Light’s unique viewpoint of Saco Bay. Previously, tour guests were not allowed to climb to the top of the tower. Tour guests may now experience what it may have been like for the keepers, who climbed the tower every day to keep the light running. The completion of this project comes just as we celebrate the 200th year anniversary of Wood Island Light. The plans for the handrail installation were approved by the Maine State Historic Preservation Commission.
In the fall of 2009, FOWIL acquired the services of Stone Age Masonry to carry-out FOWIL’s first major restoration project of Wood Island Lighthouse. Stone Age Masonry stripped, repaired, and repainted both the inside and outside of the lighthouse tower. This was by far the largest project undertaken by the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse, and represented an exciting moment for those members who have been with FOWIL since its’ inception. In preparation for this project, FOWIL worked with architects and the Maine State Historical society to establish the restoration plan.
Future restoration work includes the ongoing efforts to reduce the amount of moisture on the inside of the tower as a result of the excess condensation on the interior tower walls. This is a problem found at many lighthouses as humid ocean area condenses on the cold stone surface of the tower. During the fall and winter of 2012, FOWIL installed and monitored humidity senors in the tower, until a spring lighting strike destroyed the sensors. Once this issue is solved, the interior of the tower and the staircase will be repainted to return a bright clean look of the interior.