"The Friends of The Head Harbour Lightstation"
FHHL Newsletter 2008
This newsletter is being sent to current and potential members and supporters
of the Friends of Head Harbour Lightstation to inform you of the Friend’s 2007
accomplishments and the plans for 2008. It was an extremely busy year and giant
strides were taken to improve the Lightstation. At the same time there were several
setbacks but we have recovered and the future looks bright as we continue to
restore the Lightstation to its peak condition. The donation of many hours of
volunteer labor and exploration of creative ways to finance repairs has enabled
us to make considerable progress already.
Volunteers and support
We had a very successful year, with over 1800 hours of time spent on repairs
and refurbishing the Lightstation. It is now starting to look as it did in its
prime before the turn of the last century. Most of the hours were donated by
local members of the FHHL especially Janice Meiners, Joyce Morrell, Deana
and Leo Baldwin, Louis and Linda Brown, and Evelyn Bowden. We also received
special help on the tower from Victor Trafford and Davis Pike. One of the most
pleasant surprises was a week’s worth of experienced help from the Chesapeake
Bay Light House Association. Eight members arrived in June and spent an entire
week painting, building steps, replacing and glazing windows and performing
other restoration tasks. In addition to being hard workers, they were extremely
friendly and dedicated people who made a substantial financial donation after
they had spent a week working. They plan to return in June 2008 with 8-10
people to continue their efforts.
The Province supported 2 students to work 35 hours per week assisting
visitors to the Lightstation by answering questions, providing information
about the Lightstation’s history, and collecting donations. Daniel Brown
and Cameron Parker provided this service and were appreciated by both
visitors and members of the FHHL family.
One of the services that evolved over the summer was our ability to offer
tours of the keeper’s house and tower. As repairs progressed, visitors asked
for tours of the buildings. FHHL members requested a $5 donation and led
visitors on tours of the facility. Visitors seemed grateful for the experience
and willingly gave the donation. Although the tours interrupted our work
schedule, providing this service emphasized for us the importance of
restoring this historic landmark.
We have been fortunate to receive support from the Province of New
Brunswick’s Built Heritage Program. Funding was provided based on
volunteer hours and adherence to the Standards and Guidelines for
Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. During 2007 the Program
provided over $12,000 to reimburse the FHHL for supplies used.
We need more volunteers this year. Although we can depend on the
small group who has been doing the majority of the work, and they
have given their time and energy without complaint, we need additional
helpers, even if for just one day or one project. Please consider giving
us a little time for this project that is of great significance to Campobello
Island residents and to those who love light houses. If you want to volun-
teer time or goods, contact: Robert Hooper firstname.lastname@example.org,
Maureen Jones Ryan at email@example.com or Deanna and Leo Baldwin
If you can not work directly on the Lightstation perhaps you can assist
by donating items. We are seeking good quality furniture from the 1800’s
that is suitable to the age and use of the structure. Nautical items are
welcome to display for visitors showing our dependence on the sea. We
are also seeking historic photographs of the Lightstation and Campobello
Island scenes for display in the Lighthouse. We will make copies and return
the originals to you. Please contact one of the FHHL members and we will
Another successful festival to celebrate the Head Harbour Lightstation
was held in August. There was plenty of food featuring fish chowder
along with the usual chili, hot dogs and hamburgers. The auction was
very successful with a diverse group of donated items selling at fair
prices. A total of $3200 was realized after expenses.
In 2008, we will have an expanded schedule of events that we expect
will draw people from all over New England. A full weekend of events
scheduled on Saturday and Sunday August 9-10 will keep everyone busy.
A unique opportunity for artists and purchasers of art will begin on
August 9th. Artists from throughout the country will descend on
Campobello Island to paint Head Harbour Lightstation, Mulholland Light
House and other scenes in the Campobello Island area. On Sunday the
10th, there will be an exhibit and sale of art work at the St. Anne’s
Parich Hall on North Road. The pleinair painting activity is being
organized by Michael Chessley Johnson, Friars Bay Studio Gallery,
Welsh Pool, NB.
Also for August 9, 2008, FHHL Board Member Deanna Baldwin is
organizing a supper in Maple Leaf Hall. After supper a street dance,
organized by FHHL board member Khari Klein, will be held in the
Head Harbour parking area. So Saturday will be filled with painting,
eating and dancing to a popular DJ playing all types of danceable music.
The Lights Across the Border Challenge will also be held on Saturday
August 9th. Five light houses in the area will be open for tours starting
in the morning with our Head Harbour Lightstation. We are encouraging
people to start at our location since the low tide that morning will allow
visitors to tour the Lightstation. All participants will receive a voucher
that can be stamped at each of the light houses. The Head Harbour,
Channel Lighthouse and, Mulholland Lighthouse on Campobello Island
will participate followed by the West Quoddy Lighthouse near Lubec and
ending with the Little River Light House, Cutler. A short boat trip will be
available to reach the Little River location. Food will be available as well
as other items at each light house. Cutler will offer a lobster supper at a
cost of $35 in the Methodist Church and West Quoddy will be doing a BBQ
throughout the day
The annual Head Harbour Light House Day will be held on Sunday,
August 10, 2008. In addition to the usual food, crafts and auction, we
are planning a great musical review with an improved sound system
featuring many area musicians. There will be activities for everyone
whether you like to eat, shop, sing, or listen to music.
Status of Lightstation accomplishments
Two sides of the foghorn building have been painted. Unfortunately,
the remaining two sides are close to a ledge and will require more
staging and someone with steady nerves to complete. If anyone has
staging that they are not using and we can borrow, let us know.
The entire keeper house has been painted, as well as the connection
to the tower. We replaced some shingles, rebuilt a part of the
foundation, removed gutters, replaced window glass, glazed the
windows, and built new steps. The interior of the house was cleaned
of mold, walls and ceilings repaired and repainted, and Evelyn Bowden
papered several of the second floor rooms. Currently, the floors on the
first floor are covered with plywood, but there is hardwood under them
which needs work. The kitchen cabinets have been repaired and
repainted and wainscoting was replaced on one of the walls. Tasks still
to be completed are repair of the cistern in the basement and additional
plumbing and electrical work. These are critical needs. Please help if you
have plumbing and/or electrical skills.
We would like to install a waterless toilet and are exploring the cost.
Although waterless toilets are expensive, there is no other effective
way to dispose of sanitary waste. In the past, there was a pipe that
emptied sewage directly into the bay.
The tower is in surprising stable condition. It was shingled in the
1990’s, so the exterior is generally in good shape. The top of the
tower leaks because the hardwood between the iron supports is rotted.
We have been told by an expert consultant that it is repairable. The
catwalk is solid, but the railing around it needs to be replaced and,
unfortunately, no work on the top of the tower can be done until the
railing is repaired. We can paint the bottom of the tower to the
horizontal line of the St. George cross with ladders and staging.
However, the top half, and the top of the tower will require professional
assistance. The foundation of the tower seems solid but it does need
some cosmetic cement work where the salt air and water have caused
deterioration. The inside of the tower has been cleaned and is in good
The St. Patrick’s Day storm in March 2007 washed away the Lightstation
dock. It is critical that we have it replaced since it is very difficult to get
people and materials to the Lightstation without the dock and a boat. We
occasionally can borrow a boat but, although our volunteers are hard
working, it is difficult to bring supplies to the Lightstation when they must
be carried across rocks and up ladders. The old dock needs to be disposed
of over the winter. Anyone willing to help with the dock disposal or new
construction should contact Leo Baldwin.
We are selling maps of the Bay of Fundy and Passamaquoddy Bay
this year. The cost for each map is $4.00. The map shows all the
area light houses and describes marine mammals found in the area.
Get your copy soon.
If you have not yet paid your dues for 2007-2008, you may send them to:
Friends of Head Harbour Lightstation
210 Lighthouse Road
Wilson’s Beach, NB E5E 1M2
Family $35 Individual $20
The Lightstation is important to residents and visitors and is an
invaluable asset to the Campobello Island community.. Please help us with
your time or by making a donation so our goals can be accomplished.