Posted: Friday, June 19, 2015 2:02 pm | Updated: 11:19 pm, Fri Jun 19, 2015.
By Dustin Luca Staff Writer, Salem News
SALEM — It's full sail ahead for restorations at the historic Bakers Island Light Station.
The Essex National Heritage Commission has hit — exceeded, even — its $30,000 goal through crowd-fundraising website KickStarter.
The donation drive closed toward the end of this week, stopping at $36,437 raised by 277 backers.
"We really can't say it enough, so we'll say it again here," the commission announced to supporters. "Thank you. Thanks to all of you who shared the project, and a special big thanks (and our undying love) to all the Bakers Backers for pledging."
The restoration will open the door to regular summer visits by the public for the first time in 70 years.
Until now, with no easy place to land, Bakers Island has been off limits to all but the owners of its roughly 60 summer homes. Residents provide their own power, services and private dock while zealously guarding the island’s isolation.
Funds will go mainly toward repairing the stone and stucco lighthouse, which is suffering from cracks and the growth of mold and lichen on its surface. The lantern room also requires rust removal.
Through Kickstarter, donors could pledge a certain amount of money and get rewards in return. Among the rewards, six people donated $150 to get a trip to Bakers Island, T-shirt and more. Eight others donated $500, earning a print of a painting of the lighthouse, two tickets to the landmark and more.