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 night to keep the light burning. The completion of this project came just as we celebrated 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 since the groups inception in 2004. 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 2011, FOWIL installed and monitored humidity senors in the tower in an attempt to try to determine the causes and trends in the tower conditions. In the spring of 2012 a lighting strike destroyed the sensors along with components of the island internet and web camera system.
Eight years after the first restoration of the tower, a new paint job is again needed. In 2019 we hope to repaint the inside and outside of the tower.