New Cabin on Honk Hill Will Be Permanent LTIP Quarters
by Miles Frank
Since the foundation of Pine Island’s illustrious Leadership Training Internship Program, its staff of rising high-school seniors, known as LTIPs, have been semi-nomadic, living in a variety of places around the island: North Hampton, Tent 1, Kopa Kababa, even a short-lived tent platform on the western slope of Honk Hill. But this unfortunate circumstance has, at long last, been rectified. Next summer, more than two decades after the first LTIPs donned their perch gloves, these essential workers will finally have comfortable, dedicated quarters all to themselves.
And it is well deserved, for the LTIPs are responsible for all things maintenance. Along with their numerous daily duties, they typically engage in a few key work projects, which involve a great deal of digging, hauling, and hammering. It is bulk work. By summer’s end, the LTIPs move about the island with trained eyes, noticing what needs repair and what can be improved. Above all, they develop an appreciation for hard work.
It is therefore especially apt that they will stay in a building honoring Tim Nagler. A tremendous amount of maintenance and improvement work was completed at PIC under Tim’s guidance, a direct result of his unbridled enthusiasm and sheer force of personality. From ‘Island Buildup,’ a years-long campaign of lugging stones ashore from the Great Pond lakebed, to the custom installation of skylights in many buildings, to countless other projects, Tim’s monumental efforts left their mark on Pine Island.
Designed by builder and engineer Rip Swan, the new LTIP cabin, known as the Bulkhead, honors Tim’s legacy by elegantly balancing his aesthetic preferences within the confines of limited island space. Standing proudly beside Honk Hall, the Bulkhead has several design features that mirror its older, grander neighbor, the most notable of which is a small diamond-shaped window above the front doorway. The diamond window in Honk Hall was one of Tim’s favorite features, and one that he made sure was included in the design when Honk was rebuilt after the fire of 1995. Seven total windows, including three large ones on the western wall, provide the Bulkhead with ample natural light, cool breezes, and, of course, spectacular views of Oak Island and Great Pond’s beautiful sunsets. In its prime spot at Pine Island’s highest point, the Bulkhead may soon come to symbolize the apex of island living.
The first stage of construction began in early May of 2022, when Rip and Miles Frank ventured out to the island on an unseasonably sweltering day to fell trees and dig post fittings, necessarily punctuated by frequent dips in the still-frigid lake. Stones were hauled, sono-tubes were set, and the post footings were poured later that week. Although they never displayed it, the 2022 LTIPs were undeniably (and understandably) a bit envious, gazing across the lawn from their canvas tent at the footprint of the new cabin-to-be. At the end of the summer, lumber was delivered and ferried across the lake. Rough-sawn and locally milled from high-quality white pine, this lumber contributes to the cabin’s distinctly rustic feel. Many thanks are due to volunteer extraordinaire John Alsop, who is very well connected in these matters and organized this key element of the build.
Principal construction took place in early September, when three of Tim’s five sons, Tom, Peter and Jim, joined Miles to frame and raise the building under Rip’s guidance, with Katie Swan and Corinne O’Connor providing delicious meals throughout the weekend. The crew was then joined by longtime Pine Islander and Nagler family friend Tom Yoder to help sheath the structure in fragrant cedar shingles. And just like that, Pine Island had a new cabin! A bit more work was still required: Ben Swan and John Alsop joined shortly thereafter to help install the windows, while Miles shingled the roof. Then came the slow task of trimming, painting, and siding, accomplished over the course of the fall by Miles and fall crew all-star Natalie Burr.
In all, the Bulkhead is a fine new cabin: composed of quality materials, constructed with care, and built with purpose. Although brand new, it fits seamlessly into the island’s skyline, along with the newly re-sided Honk Hall and Magoon. The three buildings will weather together. Now draped in a layer of snow, the Bulkhead rests buttoned up with the island’s other buildings, ready to welcome its first LTIP occupants next summer.