It was once called one of the most haunted lighthouses in America, but it was the weeds that were making the Point Lookout Lighthouse look really scary.
Thanks to the hard work of about a dozen people from Naval Test Wing Atlantic, the lighthouse at Point Lookout State Park looks a lot more inviting as it prepares to open its doors to the public for the season.
“Normally we have about six to eight dedicated volunteers,” said Robert Hall, Pt. Lookout Lighthouse Preservation Society president. “Having the Navy come out helps us exponentially.”
The volunteers from NTWL, both military and civilian, spent last Friday weeding, cleaning up sidewalks, scrubbing floors and generally making the lighthouse look better. Built in 1830, the lighthouse needs a lot of work. Since PLLPS is a private organization with few fundraising opportunities, volunteer assistance is crucial. Naval Counselor Chief Ryan Marlatt is instrumental in coordinating the community relations endeavor for NTWL.
“My son, Lucas, and I volunteer here as a father and son project,” Marlatt said.
Lucas, 8, had learned about the lighthouse from a former TV show entitled “Mystery Hunters.” When the Marlatt family moved to NAS Patuxent River, they happily discovered how close Point Lookout Lighthouse was. The elder Marlatt then introduced his son to volunteering and giving back to the community.
“When you give Lucas a job, he sticks with it,” Hall said. “He’s got great focus.”
Marlatt then arranged to broaden the effort and bring in colleagues. “I thought it would be a great way to get our office together to do some hard work outside the office,” he said.
Julie Richard, civilian budget analyst with NTWL, agrees.
“I think this is great,” she said, taking a break from clearing grass that was overgrowing a sidewalk. “It gets me out of the office for a bit to help out.”
The PLLPS is beginning a new season in April and has open houses of the lighthouse the first weekend of each month through November. For more information, go to http://pllps.org.