White Island Lighthouse, old photo
The lighthouse lost its inhabitants in 1986, when the light became automated and no one was needed to man it anymore. The abandoned lighthouse was eventually turned over to the state of New Hampshire’s Parks Department, but the buildings continued to deteriorate.
Locals would talk about the lighthouse and its plight, shaking their heads about the result of years of neglect. “Someone should do something,” they’d say. But no one stepped forward to help the lighthouse.
No one, that is, until a school teacher named Susan Reynolds, became so upset about the situation that she did something. Susan had spent summers on the beach as a child, staring out at the lighthouse and planning to visit it in person as an adult. The lighthouse was important to her and important to the history of the area.
So in 2000, Reynolds formed a community service group with her seventh grade students to raise money and spur interest in saving and preserving the lighthouse. Called the “Lighthouse Kids,” the group became a nonprofit organization devoted to service projects and volunteer efforts for the cause. Another group called Friends of the Lighthouse Kids consisting of more than 150 adults joined the Kids to support them and their work for the lighthouse.