TEN POUND ISLAND: RECOGNIZING ITS PAST AND PLOTTING ITS FUTURE

Presentation by Ward One Councilor Scott Memhard tonight at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center. To learn more and see the full power point presentation come to the meeting at 7pm at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center..

“Perhaps the most innovative idea in the report is to consider creating a community boat house — possibly similar to the house boats moored along the Annisquam River — and a dock upon Ten Pound Island that could host the Gloucester High School and YMCA community sailing and boating skills programs, as well as other public programs and access for rowing and kayaking.”                           ~ Mayor’s Ad-Hoc Recreational Boating Committee, 2016

Ten Pound Island Gloucester -3kimsmithdesigns.com

Ten Pound Island Timeline

1644 Early settlers graze rams on the Island.

1817 Mariner Amos Story famously reports seeing a sea serpent (along with many others) near the Island. See account below.

1821 Ten Pound Island Lighthouse Station is established to safely guide mariners through Gloucester’s Inner Harbor.

1833-1849 Amos Story serves as Ten Pound Island Lighthouse Keeper.

1880 Winslow Homer stays with the lighthouse keeper during the summer creating over 50 watercolor paintings.

1881 Present conical cast iron tower, lined with brick, replaces original stone tower. Wooden keepers house is constructed.

1889 U.S. Fish and lobster hatchery is established.

1925 U.S. Coast Guard establishes first in the country air station, primarily to capture rumrunners during Prohibition.

1940 Lighthouse keeper’s wife Evelyn Hopkins honors Edward Snow, the Flying Santa who dropped Christmas presents from a plane for lighthouse keepers’ children, by nailing “Merry Christmas” boldly in newspaper, which could be read from the sky.

1954 Fish hatchery abandoned.

1956 Ten Pound island Light Station is decommissioned and replaced by a modern optic. The original fresnel lens is on display at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland.

1965 Keepers dwelling razed.

1988 The Lighthouse Preservation Society initiates restoration of Ten Pound Island Light.

1989 A modern optic was installed atop the tower and relit as a Federal aid to navigation.

1995 The oil house is restored.

1996 -1997 (*Possibly longer, checking dates) Shuttle to and from the Island is provided by the Gloucester Harbor Shuttle.

Currently, Ten Pound Island serves as an active aid to navigation.

Ten Pound Island

One thought on “TEN POUND ISLAND: RECOGNIZING ITS PAST AND PLOTTING ITS FUTURE

  1. In 2012, then Mayor Kirk allocated $50,000 of Seaport Bond funds in order to replace the failing floats which support the youth sailing programs. It was recommended the funding be used to build a floating house boat to include classroom, storage, shower and bath room facilities. At the time the Waterways Board was considering a floating marina to be anchored in the harbor. This proposed houseboat could have served the summer youth sailing programs as well as provide for transient boaters a first stop for facility use and information before heading ashore. The Waterways board rejected the houseboat proposal idea. The funding did however serve to build the current float system which provides dockage for the sailboats you now see in the harbor moored off the State Fish Pier. Given our early season start and late season end, it is essential to be located in a safe harbor situation when storms do arise. There is in excess of $100,000 worth of sailboats on the float. Locations outside the inner harbor do not provide this same protection or close proximity to the mooring field we use to sail and race.
    As I spoke about tonight at the community meeting, the Gloucester High School sailing program begins sailing March 15th and ends November 1st each year. Students arrive after school, change into drysuits appropriate for cold water sports, and get ferried out to the sailboats. After sailing and deriging boats, we return by 5:30pm to the shoreside facility cold, wet and hungry to change and hang wet equipment. The program’s facility requires, bathrooms, lights, heat and fresh water washdown, None of this infrastructure exists at Ten Pound Island. I see no advantages to locating youth sailing programs out to Ten Pound Island outside of possibly summer sailing camp use.

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