by Ed Miller, Lighthouse volunteer project manager
Phase one of the Range Light restoration project came to an end on Aug. 18. Wrap-up of phase one started with the arrival of the replica ventilator ball/lightning rod on Aug. 10. Old World Distributors in Kalamazoo, Mich., custom made the ventilator ball for us. They did a wonderful job on it and packed it well to survive the shipping.
On Aug. 14 it went to Dave’s Auto Body in Baileys Harbor for a professional paint job by Dave Prust. It was very considerate of Dave to donate the cost of the painting.
Next we connected a ground cable to the threaded rod on the vent ball, which was connected to the lightning rod cable already on the roof of the lighthouse. Then it was installed on the roof of the lantern room by Tim and Dennis Peil. The pictures show how great it turned out.
A lighthouse ventilator ball is used to exhaust gases from a fuel-burning light while keeping out windblown moisture. The vent ball is topped by a lightning rod.
Other activity that occurred on Aug. 18 was the installation of storm windows that Dennis made for the lantern room side windows. Dennis and Tim reinstalled the storm windows on the two front windows above the porch after repairing and painting them.
With the completion of restoration phase one, the Rear Range Light, privy and small shed/barn look great with their new roofs. In addition to the new roof on the Range Light, its lantern room was painted to match the benchmark 1907 historical photograph.
Everything above the rooflines was painted. New storm windows were made and installed on the two lantern room windows. Storm windows for front windows were repaired and painted. Half-round gutters were installed. The Range Light lantern room was topped off with a replica ventilator ball/lightning rod. A replica ventilator was made for the privy and installed.
A big thank you to the Peil Construction crew for a job well done. It looks fantastic and makes us eager to begin phase two. The 150th anniversary of the Range Lights will occur in 2019. It would be great if we could have most, if not all, of the restoration work completed by then.
To learn more about the Range Light and how to donate to the restoration, visit ridgessanctuary.org.