Although the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society’s lobbying efforts, that are led by Rip Irwin, received full Canadian Federal Heritage Protection for the lighthouse in 1996, that protection does not cover the rest of the buildings of the station, which are deteriorating rapidly.
The Canadian Coast Guard automated the light station in 1988.
Ten years later, they refurbished the tower at a cost of $250,000.
But without proper care and ongoing maintenance, the tower is deteriorating and the concrete base is starting to crumble.
In 1998, a group of volunteers led by preservationist Rip Irwin placed plywood all over the building’s windows of the tow keeper's house to protect the structures from weather and vandals. However, over the past seven years, vandals have removed most of the coverings and stripped the house’s interiors. To make matters worse, the roofs are also starting to rot. The old gashouse (formerly used to make acetylene gas for an explosive fog signal system), undermined by Hurricane Juan in 2003, is in imminent danger of collapse.
The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society (NSLPS) wants to save the buildings but has had very little positive communication with the federal government, mainly because of a shuffling of paperwork and claims of responsibility from various government agencies, about whether the structures will be allowed to stand even if the preservation group saves them.
The NSLPS is now in the process of organizing a campaign to save the buildings before nature, vandalism and the Canadian government’s indifference put an end to it for good. Time will tell.
This story appeared in the
Jan/Feb 2006 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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