In early July of 2002, an 1833 lighthouse in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, was moved about 50 feet off its deteriorated foundation by Godin Ventures Ltd. in preparation for its eventual restoration. Also known as Pendlebury Light, St. Andrews Light is the oldest lighthouse on New Brunswick’s mainland, and one of only nine remaining octagonal wooden lighthouses in the province. The old wooden tower had fallen on hard times, and the New Brunswick Lighthouse Society had named it the most endangered lighthouse in the province.
Of greater concern than the condition of the lighthouse itself was the deteriorated state of its foundation and the seawall surrounding it. Engineers said that a big storm could have knocked the lighthouse off its foundation.
The alternate name for the lighthouse, Pendlebury Light, comes from the fact that several members of the Pendlebury family served as keepers for a period of nearly a century. (1840s to the 1930s). The Pendleburys served longer than any other family at a New Brunswick lighthouse.
The light was turned off for good in 1933 and served as a club room for the St. Andrews Yacht Club until World War II. In the 1960s some of the seawall collapsed and nearly knocked over the lighthouse, and repairs were paid for by the owner at the time, Ralph Conley, after an appeal by the Charlotte County Historical Society.
The lighthouse was owned in recent years by Bob Estes, owner of the adjacent Lighthouse Restaurant. The St. Andrews Civic Trust purchased the lighthouse to be held in trust until the wharf repairs are completed. Funds for the restoration of the lighthouse and the wharf are being raised by the Trust.
The lighthouse’s unique lantern was successfully removed from the lighthouse this past July, and was transported by truck to a local community college where it will be determined what parts can be salvaged and what needs to be fabricated.
According to Allana Baird of the St. Andrews Civic Trust in an interview on CBC Radio, the eventual plans call for the building of a new seawall and the complete restoration of the lighthouse. It’s even possible, she says, that the lighthouse will be relit for the first time in 70 years. It’s hoped that the refurbished tower will be returned to its foundation in the not-too-distant future. The Civic Trust is “open to suggestions” for the use of the restored lighthouse, and they hope that they can find a use that will help generate funds for its upkeep.
Allana Baird points out, “The New Brunswick motto is ‘hope restored,’ and lighthouses are a symbol of hope. And we’re hoping to restore this one.”
For more information or to donate to the restoration, you can call the St. Andrews Civic Trust at (506) 529-4496, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can learn more about New Brunswick lighthouses by visiting the New Brunswick Lighthouse Society web site at nblhs.tripod.com and the web site “New Brunswick Lighthouses” at www.nblighthouses.com.
This story appeared in the
October 2003 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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