The Elbow Reef Lighthouse, a historic landmark standing proudly in the Bahamas, is set to complete its extensive restoration by November, thanks to the dedicated efforts of The Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society (ERLS). The society’s president, Heather Forde-Prosa, recently shared insights into the ongoing restoration project, emphasizing the crucial role played by the US Embassy.
With a total cost exceeding $1 million, the restoration encompasses a range of tasks, from crack repairs to masonry work, and the application of silicate paint for long-lasting protection. Forde-Prosa expressed gratitude for the significant support received from the US Embassy, which provided a generous $472,000 grant, making the ambitious restoration efforts possible.
Highlighting the importance of maintaining such historical structures, Forde-Prosa underscored the unique status of the Elbow Reef Lighthouse as the only one among the 11 British Imperial Lighthouses to be fully restored. The preservation efforts extend beyond mere restoration; the society is actively engaging with the public and tourists through the lighthouse’s open hours and the operation of two retail stores, both contributing funds directly to the project.
The restored lighthouse, now a popular attraction for both locals and tourists, stands as a symbol of resilience for the island community. In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, which brought devastation to the area, witnessing the revival of the lighthouse has become a source of inspiration and pride for the people. As the project nears completion, the ERLS is not only focused on preserving history but also on passing down the knowledge and experiences gained to future generations through the creation of archives. The commitment to sustainable tourism and the careful consideration of the lighthouse keepers’ well-deserved day of rest reflect the society’s dedication to both the preservation of history and the well-being of the local community.
This story appeared in the
Nov/Dec 2023 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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