Since our inception in 2001, the Society has made various attempts to acquire the lighthouse, which was on the southwestern tip of St. Paul Island. It was placed there in the early 1900’s, and in the early eighties it was removed to the parking lot of the Canadian Coast Guard in Dartmouth where it sits today; inaccessible to the public and inside a gated government facility.
At this writing, it is the intention of the CG to move the Light to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography when the CG moves its operations to that location in the near future. Again, it will only serve as an icon for those allowed into the facility and not be seen by the general public .
We are trying to persuade the CG to release it into our custody where it can be seen by all in front of our society’s museum, which is dedicated to the history and heritage of St. Paul Island. Dingwall harbour has always been intimately linked to the Island by both sea and air. For generations, boats left from here to transport people and supplies to the lighthouses and many of our people were born, lived , worked and died there thus giving us a close emotional and historical bond with St. Paul Island.
Placing the SW Light in Dingwall will bring it back to it’s natural home and serve as a powerful economic generator for our community at a time when the Fishery is in decline. It will serve as a memorial to all those who died there in the many shipwrecks in past centuries and for those that we knew who spent time on the Island. It will also serve to remind us of the vital role the Canadian Coast Guard has played in our maritime heritage.
Considering all the traffic on the Cabot Trail, the Light would have wide international exposure and no longer be lost in a restricted urban landscape.
Our society is devoted to repatriating the Light and our museum is dedicated to welcoming everyone who wishes to see the Light and understand the important role it has played in our history.
We are a community based privately funded society with our own museum on land that the society owns free and clear. It is a beautiful site for the SW Light with views of Dingwall harbour , Aspy Bay , and St. Paul Island . We are prepared to cover the costs of moving and mounting the Light.
We would really appreciate all the help we can get with this important project.
We can be contacted at:
- (902) 383 2401
- Facebook: ‘The St. Paul Island Historical Society’
On October 21, 2010, two Tory members of the Nova Scotia legislature — Cape Bretoners Keith Bain and Cecil Clarke — announced that the lighthouse would be relocated to the community museum in Dingwall.
The lighthouse was disassembled in March 2011, sandblasted and painted in April, and transported by truck to Dingwall in May.
In August, the lantern room was installed atop a concrete base poured on the grounds of the St. Paul Island Museum. The total cost of transporting, erecting, and restoring the lighthouse was roughly $120,000. The federal government invested $108,000 in the project through Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.
A dedication ceremony for the lighthouse will be held on Saturday, August 4 at 2 p.m.