Back to life, from the original 1903 blueprints

Our talented cousin Kenny Burns built this fabulous quarter sawn oak Service Cabinet.

It’s an exact copy patterned from the original 1903 Graves Light blueprints.

The back is curved to fit the radius of the tower.

The original is long gone.

The Keepers used the service cabinet to store oil lamps, tools, wicks and glass chimneys. We’ll use our new one for the same purpose.

Kenny’s shown in his shop before bringing his exact replica to Boston. Soon it will be in the lighthouse.

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Barging in with a new shed

Don’t you love the smell of a new wooden shed?

The master timber framers at The Barnyard Store in Enfield, Connecticut, built us a replacement, lovingly named “Shed No. 2.”

The sea reached up and grabbed the previous shed during the Riley Gale two months ago.

Patriot Marine hoisted onto the dock yesterday with its mighty 100-foot barge.

Of course, our own Randy was there to guide it into place.

How long will the shed last? Only King Neptune himself knows. . . . Thanks.

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Graves wins prestigious American Lighthouse Foundation award

We bought and refurbished Graves Light as a private project, so it was a special thrill when the American Lighthouse Foundation recognized our work.

The Foundation has awarded Graves Light and Fog Station its prestigious “Keeper of the Light” award.

Keepers Lynn and Dave accepted the award – a crystal trophy reminiscent of a lighthouse lens prism – at the Foundation’s 2018 gala in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Dignitaries and lighthouse preservationists from around the country attended the event.

The American Lighthouse Foundation’s mission is “to save and preserve our nation’s historic light stations and their rich heritage.”

“This is a very special award,” said Graves keeper Dave Waller. “We promise to continue the good work of restoring and interpreting our little jewel on the sea.”

 

Pictured left to right: ALF Exec. Director Bob Trapani, Jr; ALF 2nd VP Brad Coupe; ALF President Jeremy D’Entremont; Graves Keepers Lynn and Dave Waller; and ALF Treasurer Alan Ells.

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New timber roof for the Oil House

Fully framed timber reconstruction of the 1905 oil house.

Our friend Raivo has been busy up in Maine transforming some old pine timbers into a dramatic new roof for our Oil House.

The original 1905 roof was solidly built and still mostly intact, but it’s time for a fresh one and this season we’ll be concentrating on transforming the little stone structure into a fabulous guest cottage.

Raivo will assemble the new roof in his shop, dismantle it and reassemble out at Graves late in the summer.

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Treasured checkerboard made by Graves Light keeper is back at the lighthouse

This original Graves Light checkerboard, made by Keeper Llewelyn Rogers in the 1930s, was gifted to Graves Light by the Rogers family in 2018.

It’s often said the best part of owning Graves Light is meeting interesting people.

Bruce at the UPS Store, delivering the checkerboard to Graves Light.

We just had the good fortune to hear from wonderful Molly and Bruce Nichols in New York state.

Molly’s mother received an antique checkerboard from her aunt Catherine in Wellfleet back in the 1970s.

Inscribed on the back is “Made by L. Rogers, Lighthouse Keeper on Graves Light Boston Harbor 1930s.”

Knowing our interest, Molly and Bruce shipped the relic to us because they “wanted to send it home.”

Well, it didn’t take us long to buy a proper vintage checker set on eBay to go along with the handmade checkerboard so the keepers at Graves can use it again.

Now the set is returned to the Graves Light watch room, waiting for a cozy game by the fire in our potbelly stove.

Thanks, Molly and Bruce!

A note about Keeper Llewellyn Rogers: Born in Maine in 1885, Rogers moved to Provincetown as a boy and worked for the Lighthouse Service for 17 years. He was first stationed at Minot’s Light, then Twin Light, Boston Light, Provincetown Light and finally Graves Light, where he was Graves’ last Keeper under the US Lighthouse Service.

He is standing in the doorway in the 1941 photo below, taken by the prolific Edward Rowe Snow. Keeper Rogers made this checkerboard using scraps of leftover linoleum from the kitchen floor.

The snowy photo shows Bruce readying the checkerboard for shipping to us.

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Crowning achievement

Master Cabinetmaker Will installs his mahogany crown molding in the kitchen (watch deck).

Four original cast iron pieces were lost years ago, but once Uncle Mike gives the mahogany replacements a fresh coat of paint, they blend right in with the rest!

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Best part of fixing up Graves Light

The best part of fixing up The Graves hasn’t been the fabulous sunsets, discovering the dramatic history, or even watching. those cute baby seals.

It’s the wonderful people we’ve met along the way.

Hats off to the fellow whose been with us since the early days and still the most eager to jump on the early morning work boat.

Randy Clark, ladies and gents!

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Bathroom takes shape

Nat puts up the tile in the first-ever Graves Light bathroom.

Lots of enthusiasm here at Graves Light as we ready the new bathroom.

The lighthouse never had indoor plumbing as we know it, so a bathroom here is a first.

Master carpenter Nat is at it again.

He built the wooden bathroom in his Portland, Maine, shop, and installed it a few weeks ago.

The mahogany door, with porthole, is salvaged from an old boat.

Here, Nat is tiling the shower after he and Lynn laid out the marble pattern on the dock outside.

The plumbing and water treatment system are already in.

Soon we’ll have a fully functional sink, toilet, and shower.

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After 112 years, a new bathroom is on the way

Where’s the bathroom?

That’s a common question at Graves Light.

Up until this year, we’ve been using a nifty composting toilet in the shed.

But all that changes as we install a fully functional bathroom with shower, toilet and sink on the third floor of the tower.

The system will give Graves full running water for the first time in 112 years.

The guys have been busy ferrying the heavy pipes and fixtures out and installing them.

Galvin from NorEast Marine is building the manifold connection for a state-of-the-art water treatment system.

We just scored a beautiful antique sink from periodbath.com.

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Last part of Nantucket-built kitchen cabinet is installed

Back-to-back great weather days let us get stuff done!

Up from Karl’s Nantucket wood shop, we load the custom-built curved kitchen cabinets aboard Miss Cuddy.

In the gallery below, John and the gang install the “fair weather ladder” as Lynn surveys the cove (really), we all haul the new kitchen cabinets 90 feet up using a new “super bag,” and Randy applies spar varnish to the kitchen benches.

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