In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A lighthouse artist

I mentioned in an earlier post that there are names and initials carved in the stones around the lighthouse. Here is an interesting depiction of what appear to be two lighthouses. Beneath them is carved the name of the man who is the likely artist. But most of his name has been worn away by wind and rain. All that's left are the initial J and the first letter of a last name -- M.According to the census records in 1901 and 1911, the light keeper during that decade was John McKenna. He was 53 years old in 1901, and his wife Catherine was 56. A decade later John was still the light keeper and his wife Catherine was still alive. In 1911 their son Robert was listed as the assistant light keeper, and the head of a household that included his wife Lillian and their four young children. John McKenna kept the light at Cape Roseway from 1899 to 1920.*

Even though it's impossible to read the name carved below the lighthouses, it seems likely that it is John McKenna's. And this may not be a carving of two different lighthouses, but two views of Cape Roseway Light: front and back.

* Thanks to Kim Walker, Archivist at the Shelburne County Archives and Genealogical Society, for writing to tell me how long John McKenna was lightkeeper.

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