Digest>Archives> March 2007

Inch Arran Lighthouse Changed

Reprinted courtesy of The Tribune, New Brunswick, Canada

By Bill Clarke


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The new railing installed closer inside the ...

The Inch Arran Point Lighthouse in Dalhousie, New Brunswick, Canada, now looks a bit different because of occupational safety requirements. Rick Fleming, Superintendent, Marine Aids and Maintenance who manages navigational aids for the Canadian Coast Guard, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said that the decision to install an additional guardrail on the lighthouse’s upper deck was based on the Canada Labor Code. The new railing was placed inside the existing one, because they did not want to touch it. The railing and attached “bird cage” are rare, at least among eastern Canadian lighthouses.

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Old post card of the Inch Arran Lighthouse ...

Because of the code, they had to reduce the spacing between the railing and the deck and between the uprights. “I looked at some of the pictures just yesterday,” he said. “I think we probably could have done a better job trying to blend it in more. It does stand out.” He agreed that if it were painted the same color it would be less noticeable.

Fleming was also asked about the condition of the lighthouse. Part of the lighthouse facing the tip of the lighthouse point has had missing shingles replaced with planks. The paint is peeling in places. Fleming said that he had seen pictures showing all sides and “it looks fine to me. Considering some of the other lighthouses around, it’s in very good shape.”

He was also asked if there are plans to turn the lighthouse over to any other body.

He confirmed that the government has done this in a number of places, giving them to either provincial or municipal governments or to non-profit interest groups. He said that the Dalhousie lighthouse is probably on the list of those that could be turned over to some local group. The Inch Arran lighthouse was built in 1870 to mark a reef, which extends from the point. From its construction until about 1935, members of the Arseneau family kept it. Their house once occupied the point where the light now is.

Prior to the construction of the lighthouse, Mrs. Louis Arseneau used to keep a lamp in a window to guide mariners and pilots, of which her husband was one. Old photographs of the lighthouse confirm that it was, at various times, in a somewhat more dilapidated state than it now is. (One old postcard, for instance, shows it with broken steps.) Older postcards from the 19th century show that it originally had more windows than it now does.

This story appeared in the March 2007 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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