Nova Scotia

Bull Point lighthouse in Sambro being replaced

Crews were on site Monday morning to tear down the old Bull Point lighthouse that was in disrepair. DFO says a new lighthouse similar to the original one should be built in the next five weeks.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the new lighthouse should be complete in five weeks

The Bull Point lighthouse in Sambro, N.S., is being replaced. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the Maritimes posted a picture on Twitter of the half-demolished structure on Monday.

Municipal Councillor Stephen Adams says he's been talking to DFO and the Canadian Coast Guard since 2014 to get permission to spruce up the lighthouse, estimated to be about 100-years-old. On Monday "out of the blue" he received a call from someone at the Canadian Coast Guard who told him work would begin immediately.

"I got a call from a fellow from Newfoundland, Dan Pike, who said 'we are demolishing the Bull Point light' and I almost fell over," said Adams. 

"It's going to last a long time and I'm just over the moon about this. This is just wonderful news."

Dilapidated structure

Dan Pike, the regional superintendent of maritime and civil infrastructure with the Canadian Coast Guard for the Atlantic region, said the original lighthouse was a "very old, very dilapidated structure."

He said the new lighthouse should be complete in about five weeks.

Pike said the new lighthouse will look similar to the original structure, but bigger.

"The type of light that's there, it's known in our circle as a salt shaker style. The one that we're going to replace it with is slightly larger but basically the same shape. It'll actually look much better because the cupola, which is the cap on top of the structure which contains the light, will be reinstalled," said Pike.

High priority fix

Pike said the lighthouse is an integral part of safe navigation in the area for mariners. He said a new foundation is going in and that a new aluminum frame will be flown in by helicopter. After that, the siding and cupola will be added.

He said a new structure was one of the highest priorities and federal infrastructure money means more money for the Coast Guard to do similar work. 

"It's going to look pretty good," said Pike. "It's certainly needed and we'll be doing several more sites this summer and next summer."

Surprise demolition

Residents had no idea the demolition of the small lighthouse was coming.

"I saw a post on Facebook that the lighthouse was coming down, that they could see demolition taking place and we in the community had no idea anything like that was happening today," said Leslie Harnish, president of the Sambro and Area Community Association.

Harnish is glad the community is getting a replacement lighthouse.

'A welcome improvement'

"Everyone for years has been saying 'oh that lighthouse needs a painting, it's a disgrace.' It's the first thing you see coming in and out of the harbour so it will be a welcome improvement."

Sue Paul, the secretary of the Sambro Island Lighthouse Heritage Society, agrees.

"It's really nice to see those small lighthouses around Nova Scotia getting their day in the sun. It certainly is shining a light on all lighthouses in the province and putting them in the political arena which is good news for all of us," she said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anjuli Patil

Reporter

Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.

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