Posted by: tflana | July 13, 2018

The Coal Room

    Sunrise      Another early morning for Brian and me. I wanted to get cookies baked for the overnight guests and if, I have time, pick raspberries for them as well. Brian wanted to install the bathroom storm window on the Assistant Keeper’s House before the guests arrived at 9am. Needless to say, I woke before sunrise and Brian hesitantly woke up at 7 with some gentle encouragement from me, did I mention in the past, I am the morning person and he is the night owl?

AKH treats
As the coffee kicked in, both of worked on our list of things to do. Brian needed to set up his mobile carpentry shop with the generator and table saw, the bathroom window needed trim pieces added inside the frame to make the storm window fit. This always seems like an easy task when he starts but the lack of electricity and how far apart all the workshops are located, it almost becomes a cardio workout. He finished and cleaned as I went down to the beach to greet the Naumkeag and the 4 overnight guests. The last 2 storm windows will wait until Monday when there are no guests in the house.


Once we got the guests settled in to the cottage, it was time to get back to work. I also work remotely for the Annapolis Boat Shows as the Educational and Employment Coordinator. Today I had a long list of phone interviews to complete with perspective employees who will work with Brian and I getting the fall boat show underway. I will hire over 100 people to work 3 weeks to put on the largest in water boat show in the world. My hope today was to add about 10-15 new employees to the roster. I guess this is a perfect job for me due to the fact I love to talk, and I will have 20 new people to talk to today.
Brian’s goal was to glaze and caulk the last 3 windows on the sun parlor. No matter what, this project of ours needs to be finished this weekend. I want a chance to clean up and enjoy our work instead of sitting around with saw horses and ladders. As he was scraping the windows, he went to start the small Honda generator to use the vacuum and it wouldn’t start. He headed back to the shed to figure out what was going on and ended up rebuilding the carburetor and choke mechanism on the generator, and now it runs better than before. Once this was done, he did go back to work on the windows because he knows how much I really want this project done. The only thing left to do tomorrow is for me to paint the 3 windows and Brian will reinstall them.

Coal House Pre2

The overgrown mess of the old coal room

Coal House Pre

The before picture of the coal room

Coal House Post2

The completed excavation of the old coal room or house

By mid-afternoon, I needed a break from work and went down to the beach with my cameras, garden shears, a bow saw and some loppers. For most, this doesn’t sound like a break from work, but it was a chance for me to have alone time, get some fun pictures of the most photographed seagulls in Massachusetts and work on a project I have wanted to do since we arrived on the island: Tackle the Coal Room down near the beach steps. Coal on the islands was a source of heat and cooking for the keeper’s but during the late 1800’s into the early part of the 20th century, coal was also used to run the fires which helped produce steam which allowed the fog signals, at the time they were steam whistles, to run over a long period of time. It was reported in 1887 at the Point Reyes Lighthouse, in Northern California, the keepers kept the fog signal working for 176 hours which involved shoveling almost 25,000 pounds of coal into the fire. The normal routine would be for a coal barge to beach itself and unload the coal for the island’s use. It was most likely stored as close to the beach as needed and then transported to the Whistle House as needed. When you walk up the beach steps to the grassy trail, look to the right and you will see the walls of the coal house and it still has a large supply of coal strewn within the walls.Scarred Seagull and beach baby


Also, I spent some time with the seagulls and the camera. A new adult seagull appeared in the area where Larry, Moe, and Curly call home. I saw this seagull about 3 weeks ago near the Norseman Point Trail, it had received some major injuries and I thought for sure, nature was going to win this battle. However, it appears the seagull made it and is now hanging out with the beach babies. I am always looking for a Disney ending to my stories, so maybe he was last years’ beach baby and is recuperating in his safe place. No matter what the back story is, I am thrilled he is alive and is hanging with the 3 goof balls!


Future edibles found today on island – grapes


Edibles found on island today – blackberries

Low tide was at 5:06pm and I found the 4 guests enjoying a little quiet time on the beach. I showed them what wishing rocks looked like and to make a wish as well as gave them some hints on sea glass hunting. When I left them, they had many wishing rocks and a fair sampling of sea glass. The rest of our evening was spent in the sun parlor enjoying the sailboats racing by and watching a picture-perfect sunset. Does not get much better than today!


The sunset picture taken from our seats in the sun parlor

High tide: 11:07am
Low tide: 5:06pm
Sunrise: 5:16am
Sunset: 8:20pm
Man hours worked: 12 (Brian did most of them today)
Total man hours worked: 284


  1. Hey how is Pickles doing?

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