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Sagona Island, NF  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Sagona Island Lighthouse

Sagona Island is situated in Fortune Bay, roughly midway between Brunette Island and Harbour Breton. A lighthouse was established on Brunette Island in 1865 and at Harbour Breton in 1873. In 1912, preliminary work for establishing a fog alarm on Sagona Island began, and the navigational aid was placed in operation the following year.

A Notice to Mariners published in 1913 provided the following information on the new fog alarm:

Position - On the northern promontory of the western end of Sagona Island.

Description of fog alarm - Diaphone, operated with air, compressed by an oil engine. It will give three blasts of 1 ¼ seconds, with intervals of 3 seconds between them, every 90 seconds, thus: Blast 1 ¼ secs.; silent 3 secs.; blast 1 ¼ secs.; silent 3 secs.; blast 1 ¼ secs.; silent interval 80 ¼ secs.

Structures - Engine house, keeper’s house, storehouse, each a one story building with flat roof.

Material - Wood.

Colour - Each building is painted white, with a red horizontal band.

A new light was slated to be installed on Sagona Island in 1915, but this might not have happened as published List of Lights only show a fog alarm was ever present on the island.

Charles Bungay was serving as the keeper of the fog alarm in 1921 according to the 1921 census, with Samuel Harding as his assistant. Samuel would marry Charles Bungay’s daughter Rosanna later that year. The 1935 census shows that Archibald White was in charge of the fog alarm on Sagona Island, with his son George serving as his assistant. Archibald P. White, another son of Archibald White, worked at the station for over for years. Some of them men that served as his assistants over the years are John S. Fiander, Walter Snook, John C. Bennett, Aarond Vallis, Charles J. Sheppard, Ralph Lushman, Joe Drake, and Stan McDonald. The family of Archibald P. White resettled to Harbour Breton in 1969, but he continued to work at the station through at least 1972.

In 1957, S.J. Clark was paid $33,400 to construct a single dwelling and fog alarm building on Sagona Island.

A fishing community existed on Sagona Island as early as 1836, when fifty-nine people were living there. The island’s population peaked at close to 300 in the late 1800s, but declined in the 1900s. By 1945, the population was 117, and it remained at this level until the residents were resettled in the late 1960s, with most going to Harbour Breton and St. Jacques-Coomb’s Cove.

The fog alarm on Sagona Island was discontinued in 1989.

Keepers: Charles Bungay (at least 1921), Archibald White (at least 1935 – at least 1945), Archibald P. White (at least 1962 – at least 1972).

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