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Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

Updated on April 1, 2013
Image: Peggy's Cove Original Lighthouse
Image: Peggy's Cove Original Lighthouse | Source
Image: Murray Garrison with Fog Horn
Image: Murray Garrison with Fog Horn | Source

THE ORIGINAL LIGHTHOUSE

The original lighthouse was a wooden structure built in 1868. It was located on a lower plain near and slightly east of the present light. A red beacon on top housed the kerosine oil lantern that was lit at sundown. A catoptrics (silver plated mirror) magnified the light, warning and directing seafarers entering St. Margaret's Bay. The building served as living quarters for the light keeper.

A manual fog horn was used to warn ships during dense fog. It consisted of a wooden box, bellows, a horn and handle to pump. It made a deafening noise. Murry Garrison is displaying it in the photo on the right.

Although the building was replaced by the present concrete structure in 1914, the original remained, minus the red beacon on top which was removed. Because of ideal transmitting conditions overseas, the house was used as a radio station for the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War.

In 1954 Hurricane Edna damage the structure and the decision was made to demolished rather than repair it. I was nine years old at the time and remember Billy Isnor, his sister Ruth and her husband Desmond Shatford, taking me down to watch the waves. The faithful old gal didn't seem that damaged to me as we looked inside through the windows. Too bad she wasn't still standing. She'd make a great attraction.

Image: Peggy's Cove Lighthouse Time Exposure
Image: Peggy's Cove Lighthouse Time Exposure | Source

THE PRESENT LIGHT

The present lighthouse stands approximately 50 feet tall and has the eight-sided shape of earlier generations of wooden light towers. The lighthouse was automated with a red light in 1958 and was later changed to white, then to green. Finally to conform to world standards the light was changed back to red in 2007. In my opinion, the green was the prettiest.

The lighthouse contained a post office for a number of years during the summer months by Canada Post. Due to mold, the post office was removed in 2009. Tourists miss the opportunity to send mail with the lighthouse cancellation stamp.

Image: Interior of Peggy's Cove Lighthouse
Image: Interior of Peggy's Cove Lighthouse | Source
Image: Peggy's Cove Lighthouse
Image: Peggy's Cove Lighthouse | Source

LIGHT DETAILS

The light is operationalAutomated: All operating lights in Nova Scotia are automated.
Date Automated1958 Began.
Structure Type:Octagonal concrete tower.
Type:Electric Light.
1992: Fixed Green.
2009: Fixed Red.
Tower Height:050ft feet high.
Light Height:067ft feet above water level.

History Items for This Lighthouse

  • 1915 - replaced original tower of 1868
  • 1915 - 4th order dioptric lens
  • 1922 - 4th order dioptric lens, group occulting white, 13m, hand fog horn, 44ft
  • 1969 - lantern painted red - 1990 - electric lantern



Image: The original and present Peggy's Cove Lighthouses
Image: The original and present Peggy's Cove Lighthouses | Source

LIGHT KEEPERS

E. Horne........................1868 -1874
William Crooks..............1874 - 1878
S. J. Massie..................1878 - 1882
George Swinehammer..1882 - 1902
Sidney Garrison............1902 - 1926
Lloyd Garrison..............1926 - 1934
Rupert Manuel..............1943 - 1958

Image: Ivan Crowning Bill Monte
Image: Ivan Crowning Bill Monte | Source

SURPLUS LIGHTHOUSE

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, our Nova Scotia landmark and tourism icon, was declared surplus by the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 2010.

Bill Mont, The Fleamarket King of Halifax Metro, offered to take her over. He was denied. Negotiations have been ongoing for years to transfer the ownership from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the Province of Nova Scotia.

By 2012 the lighthouse paint was in such a disgraceful condition, volunteers from Painters & Allied Trades International Union Local 1945 & 1439 combined with KTM Services Group had donated their time to give the old gal a much needed facelift. Kevin Hale, site supervisor is featured in this video. The lighthouse received three coats of paint. Congratulations and many thanks to these volunteers from all Canadians and visitors to Peggy's Cove. Well done!

Image: Peggy's Cove Lighthouse Repaint Project, July 13, 2009.
Image: Peggy's Cove Lighthouse Repaint Project, July 13, 2009. | Source

REPAINT PROJECT

In 2009 the lighthouse, after a long overdue and much needed facelift, was finally repainted. It wasn't a pretty sight. There was much debate over the cost and who was going to fun it.

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    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 4 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Ivan I enjoyed this hub about Peggy's Cove Lighthouse. I am a lover of all things about lighthouses. I have written a few hubs regarding lighthouses and they have proven to be some of my most popular hubs. Thanks for sharing this hub with us!

    • Ivan Fraser profile image
      Author

      Ivan Fraser 4 years ago from Glen Margaret, Nova Scotia

      You're welcome Thelma. Glad you enjoyed it. One of these days I hope to video Murray cranking up the fog horn and letting her rip!

    • novascotiamiss profile image

      novascotiamiss 4 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Ivan, Peggy's Cove is one of my most favorite spots in the whole of Nova Scotia. I love the wild and rough scenery, the rocky shorelines and the pretty little fishing village. Needless to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your beautiful article

    • Ivan Fraser profile image
      Author

      Ivan Fraser 4 years ago from Glen Margaret, Nova Scotia

      Well your comments just made my night, novascotiamiss. Thanks.

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