Posted by: tflana | July 25, 2018

The Sun Parlor – 1927 to present


When we arrived on the island, the sun parlor very quickly became one of our favorite spots on the island, the views were spectacular, and the wind always kept it cool. The big problem was the porch had seen better days, most of the windows could not open, the glazing on the windows was crumbling, much of the wood was rotting, and the paint was peeling on the exterior. Brian and I decided if Essex Heritage agreed, we wanted to bring the sun parlor back to her glory days.

A 1927 Sun Parlor

Historical picture of the sun parlor build in 1927 by the lighthouse keepers

     In 1927, the Light Service Keepers added the sun parlor to the house, probably because they also recognized the gem this porch could be for their families. We picture a future where the guests to the island will have access to the sun parlor, sit in the cool breezes while rocking back and forth on some oversized rocking chairs. But in the 2 months we had on the island this summer, we could at least make it look pretty again.


     The work began on the first volunteer day of the summer on June 8th. The volunteers all happily grabbed scrapers and started prepping the exterior for what we thought would be a quick paint job. As the scrapping progressed, we realized the windows were falling apart and the wood trim and sills were very rotted. This is when we thought we bit off more than we could chew. The next day, when we were in Salem, a quick trip to Home Depot for wood and back to work on the porch.
The result was Brian glazed and caulked all the windows, most of the wood trim and window sills was replaced, the exterior was scraped, sanded, primed and painted, and most of the interior was painted as well. I am hoping next summer, I can sand and varnish the interior bead board and sand and paint the floor, there is always something else on an old house. I also found some washed ashore buoys for decorations and the bottles Brian found around the island have been filled with sea glass and set around the porch. I have already taken the measurements of the 10 windows to sew some valances for next summer as well (I should have brought my sewing machine with me).



P CVD Sun Parlor1


     The happiest day on the island was this weekend with the Commonwealth Victorian Dancers and when they agreed to pose for a picture on the steps of the sun parlor. This photo shoot went on for about 15 minutes with everyone involved coming up with an even better pose than the one before. When I downloaded the pictures that night, I was almost in tears how well the transformation came out! I hope we can finish the work next season, and Greg & Mary (the caretakers coming on island on July 30th) will enjoy the space as much as we do!


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