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Plum Beach Lighthouse

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Postby Grover1 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:55 am


From The Providence Journal

Lighthouse dedicated; paint job is next

NORTH KINGSTOWN — It’s hard to reach the Plum Beach Lighthouse, even by boat. The 109-year-old tower rises from some of the most treacherous waters in Narragansett Bay. The rocks are slippery and there’s no landing.

But on Friday, maintenance man Keith Lescarbeau placed a plaque on the cast-iron tower honoring Shirley Silvia, founder of The Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse, the beacon’s current owner.

“In Memory of Shirley Silvia, whose quiet dedication and leadership saved this lighthouse,” reads the plaque. The state gave the property to the Friends in 1999. Silvia, who died six years later, was quiet but determined, said Friends president David Zapatka. “She overcame so many obstacles to save the lighthouse, we really needed to remember her efforts forever.”

Now comes the hard part. The group must raise $50,000 to repaint the structure, which was renovated in 2003 with federal highway money.

“We knew in 2003 that the paint wouldn’t last,” Zapatka said. The lighthouse still works, under a private charter. On Friday, Lescarbeau, with Abcore Restoration, installed a new battery in the beacon room.

The group will raise money for the new paint job at the Wickford Art Festival, the Providence Boat Show and other events. For more information, or to join the Friends, call Dee Hoebbel at (401) 295-7665.

— Paul Davis
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