The long lost 3rd order Fresnel lens from Nova Scotia’s Cape Sable Lighthouse was found last year in 19 wooden crates in a government warehouse on the waterfront in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. Apparently when the lens was removed from the lighthouse in the 1980s it was stored away and forgotten about. The whereabouts of the lens had been alluding preservationists for decades.
Recently, volunteers of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society (NSLPS), under the leadership of the group’s president Joe Flemming, loaded the crates in a truck and brought them to Clark’s Harbour in Nova Scotia, where the town’s mayor, Leigh Stoddart, had agreed to accept the lens, hopefully for display in the Seaside Heritage Center possibly in time for the town’s 100th anniversary celebration to be held in this year. However, other options were being considered.
The 19 wooden crates contained the lens, its base, all the mechanisms, and other mechanical equipment. The magnificent lens saw use in the first 1861 Cape Sable Lighthouse and its 1924 replacement tower, which, at 101 feet high, is the tallest lighthouse in Nova Scotia.
Before the crates were moved to Clark’s Harbour, volunteers carefully unpacked all the crates to document and label every item. As well as Joe Flemming, president of the NSLPS, among the volunteers were Canadian lighthouse keeper and author Chris Mills, and Roger Masters, curator of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
The Cape Sable Lighthouse is located on the southwest corner of Nova Scotia, Canada, offshore from Cape Sable Island near Clark’s Harbour. The lighthouse is still operational with a modern automatic beacon.
This story appeared in the
Mar/Apr 2019 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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