Graves Light’s massive new oak front doors, from 1905 plans, are built to take a beating

Master Ship’s Carpenter Don Conry with two of the perfect replica doors he built for Graves Light.

There’s no better way to test a new pair of heavy oak doors than to install them during a gale.

Using the original 1905 US Light House Service blueprints, Master Ship’s Carpenter Don Conry built us a perfectly accurate pair of double doors for our entry, 40 feet above the sea.

The old lighthouse plans have been essential to our restoration efforts. For the four entry doors, we turned to Don. He fashioned them out of white oak, exactly according to the 1905 specifications.

Until now, Graves Light’s front doors were Coast Guard replacements of the long-gone originals. They were functional but drab, nothing like the original design.

We unearthed a lovely group of twelve antique heavy brass barrel hinges for a solid and weatherproof fit.

Then we added a beautiful porcelain enamel warning sign – an original from the US Light House Service. It’s all about the details.

Just like the long-lost doors installed 113 years ago, these white oak brutes are built to take a beating. They have reinforced security glass and up-rated hardware against intruders.

An identical set of exterior doors, painted regulation red, completes the entryway.

Don labored over the fall and installed them in early November, during a gale. That’s what Master Ship’s Carpenters do.  Thanks so much, Sir!


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One Comment

  1. We are so overwhelmed with significance of the Graves Light Station…my father was Earl Richard Graves, born March 27, 1895 in Shelby, Michigan to LeRoy A. Graves and Ella McCall Graves.Earl Richard Graves married. Olive Minnie Rush, and I am their daughter, Earlene Florence Graves WAHLQUIST born November 10, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois. Earl R. Graves passed away in March, 1981 in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. We ate so interested in this Light Station and it’s long history, as are our children, Richard (Rick) WAHLQUIST, Elizabeth Olivia WAHLQUIST Struzyk, and Nancy Lynn WAHLQUIST Green. We will continue to enjoy it’s history. Thank you for posting.

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