Concord Point Lighthouse Restoration Gets Underway
Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse seek community support.
Across the street from Concord Point Lighthouse, the grounds look a bit unkempt.
Raised walkways are being installed outside the Keeper’s House, where the overseer of the lighthouse used to live.
Through a $40,000 grant from Maryland Historic Trust, the nonprofit Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse is working to make the site more historically accurate.
“The land was mostly underwater,” Bethany Baker, executive director of the Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse, told Patch.
People had to row the 200 yards from the keeper’s house to the lighthouse in the early 1900s, she explained.
Now Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse is working to bring the Keeper's House into alignment with its historic representation. Part of that effort is a fundraiser buffet at Coakley's Pub on March 16.
In addition to the walkways, signage will indicate the footprint where a coal shed and shed house used to be on Concord at Lafayette streets.
To do restoration around the lighthouse itself, Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse must raise additional funds.
Specifically, the group plans to do the following:
- Replace the brick walkways around the lighthouse, which are uneven
- Delineate the footprint and install signage where the privy was
- Add fencing to corners of the lighthouse
On Monday, fencing will arrive for installation around the front of the lighthouse.
Historical photographs show white fencing in place, Baker said. At first, it will not be white because it needs a few months until it can be cured, she added.
“These plans are all part of a Concord Point master plan that was put in place when the building was originally renovated and first opened to the public,” Baker said. “Everybody on the board has been looking (in) this direction for several years."
Continued Baker: “And if it happens before the War of 1812 weekend, so much the better.”
The lighthouse will play a big role in the city’s War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration, from May 3 to 5.
On May 4, Concord Point Lighthouse will be the site of a reenactment of the British invading the town and lighthouse keeper John O’Neil defending the point, Baker said. That evening, there will be a concert and fireworks, she added, and the reenactors will camp out by the lighthouse and behind the Keeper’s House.
“I’m thinking right now that’s going to be the British encampment,” Baker said. “That will be open to the public so they can talk to the actors, see their accoutrements….”
Baker admitted that having the project completed by May was ambitious but said that she believed the city could bring it to fruition.
“I would love for [the lighthouse] to be rejuvenated and really look good by the time everyone comes into town," Baker said. “If everybody rallies together, we can do it."
She noted this was the organization's first fundraiser for the restoration project.
“Our board has been pretty good about being self-sustaining,” Baker said.
“Now we’re poised to make these improvements and are just looking for a little help from the community," she said.
Baker said she hoped that Havre de Grace citizens may see contributing to the lighthouse as a way of showing civic pride.
“The lighthouse is a symbol of Havre de Grace and very important in the history of the town," Baker added. "We want it to be the best it can be for visitors who come from in town and out of town so they can know the story and importance of the Susquehanna River, and John O'Neil’s story and involvement in the war of 1812.”
The Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse fundraiser will be from 2 to 5 p.m. on March 16 at Coakley's Pub (406 Saint John St.) in Havre de Grace. Tickets are $35 and include an Irish buffet with nonalcoholic drinks; they are available at the Havre de Grace Visitors Center or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.