The Lighthouse Committee is charged with the responsibility to raise all necessary funds and to plan and carry out restoration projects, as well as all other aspects of the town’s responsibilities for the Isle au Haut Lighthouse. The Lighthouse Committee serves under the selectmen, keeping them advised of ongoing activities and getting approval of all projects. The town maintains a separate account for all lighthouse funds.
In 2015, the State Historic Preservation Office awarded Isle au Haut a $11,000 grant for development funds to prepare for a major historic restoration. Today, we have a complete set of drawings, specifications, techniques and phasing to restore the lighthouse to its historic magnificence, including the working replication of the huge fog bell that hung over the water.
In 1998 the Maine Lights Bill was passed by the US Congress and signed into law. It provided for the transfer of twenty-two lighthouse deeds in Maine (including Isle au Haut) from the US Government to local nonprofit entities. A number of forums and town meetings took place and overwhelming support was voted for the town to apply for ownership. Also approved at a special town meeting was a stipulation that no tax appropriations be requested for lighthouse expenses.
The town was then chosen by the Maine Lighthouse Selection Committee (set up by the Maine Lights Bill) and assumed ownership for the property, with covenants specifying certain obligations: the town would be responsible for restoring the lighthouse to its original design according to National Historic Preservation Standards, maintaining it, and providing, to one degree or another, educational, natural science, and public access opportunities.
Oversight for monitoring the town’s obligations rests with the State Historic Preservation Commission.
Donations are always welcome. Please send your tax deductible contribution to:
Town of Isle au Haut Lighthouse Fund c/o Lisa Turner
P.O. Box 41
Isle au Haut, ME 04645.