A large donation from a Georgia woman who used to spend summers in Saco will pay most of the cost of restoring the keeper’s home at Wood Island Lighthouse, a group announced Wednesday.

The keeper’s house, which is next to the historic lighthouse on the eastern end of Wood Island in Saco Bay, has fallen into disrepair and needs substantial interior renovation. Brad Coupe, chairman of executive committee of the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse, said restoration work will begin this summer using an initial $50,000 donation from Judith Klement of Savannah, Georgia.

The entire project is estimated to cost $218,000 and will be almost entirely funded by donations from Klement, Coupe said. The work is expected to take a year.

“My longtime interest in historic preservation and my fascination with Wood Island Lighthouse from my many summers at our family home in Saco prompted me to write (to the Friends),” Klement said in a prepared statement. “Then, two trips to the island to learn about the restoration progress and to meet the (Friends) people reinforced my instinct to help advance the excellent work they are doing.”

President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the lighthouse in 1808. The keeper’s house was last renovated in 1906 to include a gambrel roof and columned open porch.

The all-volunteer friends group has been raising money since 2003 to preserve and restore the lighthouse and keeper’s house. The group raises money through summer tours of the island.

“We have been at this since 2003, doing the work as we could raise the funds to pay for it. Judy’s donation, in the end, may turn out to be the largest we have had from any source and it will take us a long way toward realizing our complete restoration goal,” Coupe said. “Her confidence in us is a source of great satisfaction and reward to all our volunteers who have devoted countless hours for more than a decade to the work of preserving this historic landmark.”

All work at Wood Island must be done using National Park Service restoration guidelines as administered by the Maine State Historic Preservation Commission and the Coast Guard.