Digest>Archives> Jan/Feb 2006

North America's Oldest Operating Lighthouse in Danger

Canada's Sambro Island Light Station could soon be lost forever

Comments?    


You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
In December of 1998, a group of volunteers, led ...
Photo by: Chris Mills

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.

You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
The interior of the Sambro Island Lighthouse is ...
Photo by: Chris Mills

The Canadian Coast Guard automated the light station in 1988.

You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
Although the Canadian Coast Guard painted the ...

Ten years later, they refurbished the tower at a cost of $250,000.

You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
Although the Canadian Coast Guard painted the ...

But without proper care and ongoing maintenance, the tower is deteriorating and the concrete base is starting to crumble.

You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
The old gashouse after Hurricane Juan ripped ...
Photo by: Chris Mills

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.

All contents copyright © 1995-2017 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

Featured
Products

Subscribe
to Lighthouse Digest


USLHS Marker Fund


Lighthouse Jewelry


Lighthouse Service Sweatshirt












Subscribe   Contact Us   About Us   Copyright Foghorn Publishing, 1994- 2017   Lighthouse Facts     Lighthouse History