A Rockland Museum Fighting to Keep Its Doors Open 

A museum in Rockland that offers more than history on lighthouses is fighting to remain open.They need financial help to cover rising costs and a drop in donations… “It’s the mystique about them and the purpose behind them to assist the mariners.That’s what Maine Lighthouse Museum volunteer John Baxter loves about lighthouses.He should know. He was a lighthouse keeper for twenty-three years.Baxter came to the museum in 2005 after he heard it was founded by Ken Black, a commanding officer in the coast guard when first arrived in rockland.”Once I heard he started the lighthouse I figured I could help him.”Because of financial reasons, the museum may have to close its doors if they don’t come up with 50-thousand dollars by July first.Something Dot Black, Ken’s widow, does not want to see happen. ” It’s my husband dream and I just can’t even imagine shutting the door.”Black says while she’s been paying bills like electricity and heat, others are piling up. ” It’s very important we keep this place open. It would be a closing of an era that I certainly wouldn’t to want to see happen.”Black only has one paid employee, Julia Friese, who works just thirty hours a week. ” Worked in history museums in the past. This one is extraordinarily special. It represents people in a way that I have not seen before.”Friese says it’s not just the people of rockland that would be affected by the closure. ” It’s a national treasure it is not simply just a local treasure. It is something that tells the story of America’s lighthouse history.A history that the museum passes on to children who come for tours.Mars Hill sixth grader Bernadette Racine is one of those children. ” Well I would actually feel really sad because this is a big museum and there’s so many stuff you can learn here and there’s a lot of history behind it.”If you would like to help keep the museum open you can contact dot black at the museum at 594-3301.