One of the most popular tourist attraction lighthouses on Canada's Prince Edward Island has been saved from imminent destruction when it was moved this past March from an eroding cliff.
When it was built in 1876, the Wood Islands Lighthouse on the southeastern coast of PEI, was nearly 500 feet from the edge of the bluff. When the crew came to move it, the lighthouse was less than 10 feet away from the edge.
Time was of the essence as the movers struggled to move the lighthouse on the snow cover and ice packed ground. The lighthouse had to be moved in the winter months so the ground could support the weight of the vehicles and the heavy lighthouse. The crew had never moved a lighthouse before, so the project was a bit of a challenge.
The lighthouse had to be jacked up on metal beams on wheels before it was attached to a truck. For the extra power needed, the front of the truck was attached by a chain to bulldozer. Those who gathered to watch the move, gasped with the lighthouse teetered for a few moments when the move began. Another tense moment came with the bulldozer slid about 30 feet on the ice.
A member of the Wood Islands Development Corporation said they can now "All breathe a bit easier."
The lighthouse will be placed upon a new basement and foundation and opened again to the public.
The community has leased the lighthouse since 1997 and kept it open to the public for the last eleven years. Each of the eleven rooms in the structure have been redone with different themes around the history and culture of the area and it includes a gift shop.
For anyone planning a visit to Prince Edward Island, the lighthouse is a "must see," as well as the nearby Wood Islands Harbour Range Lighthouses. To learn more about the lighthouse you can visit their web site at www.woodislandslighthouse.com or call them at 902-962-3110.
This story appeared in the
May 2009 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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