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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Two views from the same spot

Graves Light stands in the same spot but always seems to have a different view.

From the mainland four miles away, our friend Sean Foley shows how quickly the view of the lighthouse can change.

At sunrise on March 2, Sean caught calm seas reflecting a brilliant orange sky.

The next day, with Riley Gale surging, Sean caught a huge wave hitting Graves Light, sending up spray more than 100 feet. Graves Light is 118 feet high.

Sean and other photographers on shore are generous about sharing their photos with us. Thanks, friends.

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Clear the deck

Just before midnight during the Riley Gale, one of our cameras recorded the sea laying claim to our tool shed.

The gale pummeled Graves Light as the 27 foot seas smashed into the ledge, sending spray 117 feet to the very top.

This little clip shows the amazing power of nature. Like a great hand, a wave reaches up 20 feet to the dock, plucks the shed that was bolted to the timbers below, and drags it into the surf. See the video here on our Facebook page.

All the gear inside went to Davy Jones. Lighthouse insurance? What’s that?

It’s no great loss, when you think about it. Many people along the coast lost their cars and homes, and at least seven lost their lives.

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Our favorite Christmas ornament this year

We received the most wonderful holiday gift from our dear friends Jane and Jim at Boston Scuba: The Graves Light limited edition ornament created by the Winthrop Improvement & Historical Association.

The for sale at shops all over town with proceeds going to help the WIHA. They’re old school – almost as old as the Dean Winthrop House they’re devoted to preserving – so this ornament isn’t available online, but you can follow them on Facebook.

Call 617-846-8606 for more info.

And Merry Christmas!

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Seal party at Graves

Big party of seals out at the light today, and this curious little critter swam right up to welcome the Boston Scuba dive boat.

Thanks, Cap’n Pat, for the picture!

Below is a gallery of our seals at Graves over the past few years.

 

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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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