November 21, 2011 in Keepers Log, News

Historic fog bell installed

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Fog Bell Installation
On the weekend of November 19th & 20th, a crew of volunteers tackled the herculean task of moving a three-thousand pound bronze bell into position on the island adjacent to the Lighthouse. Retrieved from the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers several years ago, the bell was stored at the Saugerties Coast Guard Station awaiting the final leg of its journey. Moving the bell to the Lighthouse presented a unique puzzle. The remote location ruled out the use of heavy machinery for lifting the bell. Shallow shoals prevented any Coast Guard vessel from getting within reach. This weighty problem kept us scratching our heads for two or three years. Fortunately, Jim Kricker of Rondout Woodworking volunteered his equipment and know-how. As soon as we sketched out a plan, we loaded the old supply barge with the bell (courtesy of the Coast Guard crane operator) plus a pair of heavy-duty winches, lengths of chain, pry bars, wood wedges and planks. SLC board members Dock Shuter and Dick Duncan rallied to the occasion despite strong winds and choppy waters. While out walking his dog, neighbor Doug Elliot took an interest and unexpectedly joined the effort. With Jim’s leadership, the assembled team used muscles and mechanical advantage to hoist the bell off the supply barge, roll it across the bridge, lever it onto wood blocks, and gently lower it down onto its concrete base. The crew worked methodically throughout the afternoon and into the twilight hours to finish the job. Anna Berkheiser prepared a short video of the project.

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