|Covehead Harbour, PE|
Description: In 1879, two masts were erected to serve as range lights at the entrance to Covehead Harbour in Queen’s County with Ernest McMillan serving as keeper of the inner or rear range light and John McCabe serving as keeper of the outer or front range light.
The 1893 Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries gives the following description of the Covehead Range Lights:
The arrangement of the range lights at the entrance to this harbour has been changed. The front light is now close to the edge of the sand beach at the entrance to the harbour. It is elevated 18 feet above high water mark, and is a fixed white light, shown from a lantern hoisted on a mast 17 feet high, and visible over three miles from all points of approach. The back light is located 225 feet S.W. from the front one. It is also fixed white, elevated 25 feet above high water mark, and is visible three miles from all points of approach. The lantern is hoisted on a mast 27 feet high. The position of the light is liable to be moved to suit the changes in the channel, and only 3 feet can be depended on at low water on the bar.
In response to a petition from fishermen, the back range light formerly situated on Black Point was moved to the beach in 1894, and a new block was built for the front range light. Both lights were then located on the beach on the west side of the harbour.
A set of movable range lights were constructed in 1917 under the supervision of G. L. Gaudin.
Lloyd Bell served as keeper of the range lights from 1926 until 1959, when the lights were electrified. As a keeper was no longer needed, Bell was hired as a caretaker at an annual salary of $100 instead of the $550 he was earning previously.
The present Covehead Harbour Lighthouse is 8.2 metres (26.9 feet) in height with a focal plane of 10 metres (32.8 feet) above the surrounding water and serves as a coastal light instead of a range light. The revolving bull's-eyed Fresnel lens in the lantern room emits a white 0.5-second flash followed by an eclipse of 4.5 seconds and was reportedly relocated from Dalhousie, New Brunswick.
The tower’s fog horn, which is maintained by the local harbour authority, points due north and, when needed, sounds a three-second blast followed by twenty-seven seconds of silence. The lighthouse was renovated in 1994 and covered with pressure-treated cedar siding.
A plaque on the side of the lighthouse provides the following on the Yankee Gale that struck on October 3, 1851 and claimed at least seventy-four ships and 150 lives:
In March 2011, Pat and Keith Notman of Stanhope attended a meeting where Norman Shields, Manager of Heritage Lighthouse Program at Parks Canada, gave an informative presentation about the Heritage Lighthouse Act, which facilitates the transfer of lighthouses to communities or support groups. The couple formed Friends of Covehead Lighthouse, collected the necessary twenty-five signatures, and submitted a petition for the lighthouse to the Department of Fisheries and Ocean before the May 2012 deadline. The group has since received confirmation that the lighthouse is eligible for transfer under the program and now has until May 2015 to flesh out a business plan for the acquisition and the ongoing maintenance of the structure.
Located on Cape Stanhope at the entrance to Covehead Bay in Prince Edward Island National Park. The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.
The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.
Notes from a friend:Kraig writes:
Just east of the lighthouse alongside the Gulfshore Parkway is Dalvay By-The-Sea, built in 1895 by Alexander MacDonald, a wealthy businessman and one-time president of Standard Oil Company. The mansion is now an inn with noted dining. The inn appeared in the movie Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. Anne (Megan Follows) appears at the beginning of the movie riding her bicycle along a lake with the inn in the background. She proceeds to the beach where the pages of a manuscript she is reading are blown onto the lawn of the inn.
See our List of Lighthouses in Prince Edward Island Canada
Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, used by permission.