There are always projects to be done on Seguin Island.  Some are relatively small, easy, and fast – if you know how to do them!  Others are ongoing or repetitive, requiring a larger investment of labor, money and time. Most are completed by the Wednesday Warriors (WW), summer keepers and annual volunteers.  Select projects, such as the replacement of the Boat House sill and completion of the Whistle House roof repair, are executed by paid professionals, like those who installed the 14 KW solar system at Seguin. They were aided by WW and FOSILS’ board members, Rick and Chris, who lived on-island and worked long days with the installation team.  

Regardless of size, duration, or source of labor, each project is important when it comes to preserving this 225-year old historical landmark for future generations to experience and appreciate. 

When discussing the quality of a recent keeper-completed project with Cyndy, she said, “Our mantra for improvements and repairs is ‘BTB: Better Than Before.’  As long as it’s BTB, we’re happy.”  So, here are some BTBs from Seguin this summer:

WW and FOSILS’ board member, Charlotte, beautifying the bell and successfully belying its’ 162 years of age to subsequent visitors! 
WW and FOSILS’ board member, Tom, safely making repairs to the Keepers’ Quarters’ roof.  This is an annual, post-winter project.

Charlotte (not pictured,) Cyndy, and Debby teamed up to clean and polish each of the 284 individual glass prisms that make up the Fresnel lens. Just think, this now annual labor of love used to be a daily chore when kerosene was used to light the lamp positioned in the lens.  The oily residue from the smoking wick had to be removed from the prisms in order to optimize the visibility of the light…and to pass inspections too! 


One of 18 window frames on the Keepers’ Quarters that must be scraped and repainted by hand – in order to comply with Maine Historic Preservation Commission standards. Tom again, this time painting scaffold-high!

The following projects were initiated and completed by Keeper Chris, with some hands-on assistance and QC (Quality Control) “help” from me!:

Rebuilt and repainted picnic table in the campgroundscraped and repainted other rest benches on island trails 
Rebuilt safety surface of ramp up to the tram 
Installed BirdX landing deterrents on top, steel mountings within, and cobblestone supports at base of all historical signs

Repainted and replaced screens on doors to Keepers’ Quarters & Museum 

At each of the landings at the bottom of the Keepers’ Quarters bi-directional porch staircase, removed bricks, placed weed barrier, re-laid bricks, and “re-mortared” with gravel-sand collected  and hand-carried up from the end of  the Cove Trail .

Successfully filtered rainwater for drinking following our first rainfall of the summer, two months after arriving on Seguin.  Since the on-island cistern water is non-potable, this could become a viable alternative to hauling drinking water from the mainland, absent another dry summer.
Happily, only one-time-to-date in-house bat “relocation”

Some of Keeper Chris’ other un-photo-documented projects include:

  • Hung wooden bookshelf in Keepers’ Quarters
  • Installed new clotheslines
  • Sorted/ assembled accumulated materials and debris from all building for future use, disposal, or recylcing
  • Repaired water line from cistern to cove
  • Repaired cove stairs
  • Replaced stair-rail uprights on keepers’ quarters porch staircase
  • Repainted informational and directional signage
  • Repaired composting toilet leaks ( Actually, we have photos of that, but ewww!)
  • Summer-long baking and, when available, berry picking! Yum!

But wait, there’s more, coming to a futureblog screen near you!      

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