Thursday November 15, 2018 at 6:PM at the Freeport Library
Ford Reiche has owned and restored four buildings on the National Registry of Historic Places. Recently he renovated a local lighthouse which has become the recipient of local and national awards. The restoration is the subject of a recent book and documentary on Discovery/DIY channels.
In 1871, the federal government built Halfway Rock Light Station at the entrance to Casco Bay, ten miles off shore from what was then one of the busiest ports in America. Called a “stag lighthouse” because it was deemed too dangerous for women or families, it was staffed 24/7 for 105 years by rugged men who survived harsh conditions, and rowed all the way to Portland for shore leave. In 1975, the federal government automated the horn and light, then abandoned the station to the ravages of Mother Nature. On 2012, Halfway Rock was placed at the top of a list of The Most Endangered Lighthouses In America. After 40 years of neglect, the station was sold at auction by the government in 2014 . The auction sale was delayed by 14 months because it was discovered that the federal government did not actually own the station, and it took a special act of the Maine legislature to clear the title.
At the time of sale water was leaking through all seven stories of the granite tower, broken out windows and doors were boarded up, and most of the 120’ dock had been washed away. Over the course of three years a complete restoration has brought the buildings of Halfway Rock back to their original condition, ready to fend off Mother Nature for a few more decades.