PORTLAND (AP) – A nonprofit preservation group went to court Thursday to try to block the sale of Squirrel Point Light to a Virginia couple.

Leonard Picotte, a retired Navy admiral, and his wife, Sandra Whiteley, have an option to buy the lighthouse in Arrowsic for $295,000 as part of their plan to convert it into a seasonal home.

Citizens for Squirrel Point, which took its case to U.S. District Court, wants the title to the lighthouse and property to be handed over to the U.S. government.

The group contends that the light tower, keeper’s house and outbuildings on 4.5 waterfront acres on the Kennebec River have not been used in accordance with their deed after Squirrel Point Associates assumed the property in 1998.

The deed requires it to be “used for educational, historic, recreational, cultural and wildlife conservation programs” and maintained in a manner “consistent with the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.”

The suit also challenges recent efforts to turn the property into a private residence.

Picotte says he is committed to maintaining the property and adhering to historic preservation standards.

He said he would allow more access provided there is proper supervision. “All I can say is that I am going to live up to my word,” he said previously.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.