by Bev Stewart
For over one hundred years I have been standing proud and tall, shining my light out over the waters of the Northumberland Strait between Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia at the most southern tip of PEI. I was a home to my Light Keeper’s and their families for one hundred and fourteen years. My last Keeper retired in 1990. For the last 13 years, I have been a home to an interpretive museum. I have received a heritage award and a TIAPEI, Operator of the Year award in 2007. In 2008 I received a Genuine Island Host Award.
I remember the days when the Light Keeper’s children ran up and down my stairs. There was laughter filling my rooms, and the smell of good home cooking filling the air. Then in 1981 all was quiet, and my Keeper and his family were moved into a bungalow beside me. They still came to check on me on a daily basis, but it was not the same. Then in 1990 everything changed, my Keeper and his family moved away. My doors were locked and there was no one around. I was really all alone.
Then in 1997 there was another change. There was movement and activity in my rooms again. A non-profit organization had leased me. They had made plans to turn me into an interpretive museum. Slowly year after year the group turned my run down rooms into rooms with different themes. Now 13 years later, each of my rooms have a different theme.
My porch is now a nautical gift shop featuring many handmade Island crafts. My kitchen was redone to the 1950s style, where there are always complimentary food samples from the “Taste Our History” program. My two downstairs bedrooms were renovated into a Northumberland Ferries Room and an Interpretive Museum. My family room is now a Rum-Running Room.
On my second level there were once four bedrooms. There is now a Burning/Phantom Ship Room, a Fisheries Museum, a Light Keeper’s Quarters, and a Lady’s Bedroom.
On my third level there was one small room. This room was just for my Light Keeper. It was to house everything he needed to operate and work on my light. It is still the same today. But my hallway on the third level is now designated to the ice boats and ice breakers.
My lantern room is still as it was so many years ago. My light is still shining bright. To look out my tower windows is truly something to behold.
Each year I sat and watched the cliff in front of me get closer and closer…. I had approximately nine feet of bank between me and the Northumberland Strait. I feared I was going to fall into the Strait. Then in the spring of 2009 something unusual began to happen. There were men and machinery all around me…. I was then slowly raised up above my foundation…. I was rolled about seventy-five feet from my original location. I am once again safe from the waters of the Northumberland Strait. In June of 2009 my doors were opened for the season…
I am open daily from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (last tour at 5:30) from mid-June until mid-September. I welcome school and group tours. 902-962-3110 (open hours), 902-962-3463 (off season)