New Life for the Wood Island Life Saving Station

DURHAM — Men fought deadly seas in small wooden boats from the Wood Is-land Life Saving Station to rescue mariners in distress starting in 1908. Their whispered motto? “We have to go out, but we don’t have to come back.”

“It’s where wooden boats met service,” said Sam Reid, president of the Wood Is-land Life Saving Station Association.

Hear the history of these Portsmouth Harbor “surfmen,” who were part of the U.S. Life Saving Service — a forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard. Learn how the Life Saving Station is being brought back to life. Mr. Reid will speak to island’s past and future at 1:30 p.m. March 16 in a free webinar sponsored by the Active Retirement Association. Advanced sign up is required at Wood Island Registration or by emailing for the registration link. Guests receive a confirmation email with information on how to attend.


Mr. Reid brings his background in historical preservation to help breathe new life into the Life Saving Station for us. He is Managing Director and Government Af-fairs Consultant at Hope and Reid, LLC, and has engaged in preservation from his time as senior adviser to the governor of Rhode Island. The Town of Kittery, as owner of the island station, selected his association in March of 2012 to restore the station and bring it to the public as a maritime museum.

The Wood Island presentation is part of the Seacoast Memorial Lecture Series supported by the ARA’s Memorial Fund, which was established with a grant from the Robert E. Smith family in 2004 and further endowed by member donations.

The Active Retirement Association (ARA) is a volunteer-run organization for people 50 and over, retired or not. For more information, visit or email


Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you