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.

Friday, June 18, 2010

sale on lighthouses

The federal government has announced a lighthouse sale:

Some of Nova Scotia's lighthouses are in better condition than others. The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society has a useful survey of lighthouses in the province. Some are already cared for by their communities, like Sandy Point here in Shelburne Harbour, and Cape Forchu in Yarmouth. Iconic structures like Sambro and Peggy's Cove and others that are small, or an integral part of their neighbourhood --will probably be rescued, one way or another.

Then there's Cape Roseway. It's the second-oldest site in Nova Scotia, after Sambro. But the actual light, built in 1959 to replace the original late eighteenth century structure, is not historically compelling. The site has been allowed to deteriorate since the light was decommissioned and automated in 1985. Its buildings and grounds are actually dangerous. It's inaccessible for all but the hardiest visitors. So it seems almost inevitable that Cape Roseway light will just continue to sit out there on the edge of the North Atlantic, forgotten, as it has been for the past quarter century, and quietly, slowly disappear.

For images and history of Cape Roseway light, go to the lighthouse label in the blog's right column.


Janet said...

The Atlantic Provinces have traditionally relied on an extractive economy until the resource is depleted - the Fisheries, forest products, mines and to a lesser extent agriculture. Alongside that we have suffered the "brain drain" spending countless fortunes to educate our young people who then go down the road to where the jobs they were trained for exist in greater numbers than they do here. The consequent aging of our population puts further strains on an economy that has a dearth of people in their middle years to support it, and we lose many services that will never return. In addition, because our population declines while urban Canada's grows, when re-distribution occurs, we have less say in how we are governed. Why am I not surprised that out lighthouss are cut loose - it happens because the squawk will not be of significance!

Terry J. Deveau said...

Interesting thing about the extractive economies in the Atlantic Provinces, actually, is that they very rarely failed due to resource depletion (cod may be the big exception to that). Mostly (forest products, mines, agriculture, etc.) the resource is still there and waiting for people to return to it. Gold mining is a classic example. Very few, if any, of the commercially explioted gold deposits in Nova Scotia were ever mined out, but changes in the marketplace, and more particularly the investment environment for junior mining companies, collapsed the industry.

Incidentally, although to my knowledge no gold deposits were ever reported from McNutt's Island, the predominant geology there is the Goldenville Formation, which is precisely the geological setting in which the NS gold deposits are typically found.