The long-lost lens from the Cape Sable lighthouse will have a new home on the shores of The Hawk, just across the channel from where it once lit the way home for mariners for the better part of the 20th century.
The historic lens, which was in service from 1902 through to the 1980s, was found last fall in storage in a government building on the Saint John, N.B. waterfront that was being cleaned out for demolition. It was returned to Nova Scotia by the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society, and given to the Town of Clark’s Harbour, which has been instrumental in helping preserve the Cape Light through the Friends of the Cape Light group.
Working with the Municipality of Barrington, an agreement has been made with the Friends of the Cape Light Society and the Town of Clarks Harbour to house the lens in a small building constructed like the top of a lighthouse, located on municipal property at The Hawk. The society has agreed to oversee this project, with the municipality providing $9,200 in funding for the project.
The building “will look similar to the top of a lighthouse. It looks similar to the top of the Cape Light actually,” said Clark’s Harbour Mayor Leigh Stoddart, who is also involved with the Friends of the Cape Light. “It will be like the top of the lighthouse at ground level. It will have glass all around it so you can see the lens.”
The building is going to be constructed of aluminum and fabricated by the Clark’s Harbour based welding firm Doug & Daughter.
“It will have a concrete base and a special kind of glass that’s not easily broken,” said Stoddart.
With the location adjacent to a public parking lot, scenic lookoff and boat launching area, “I think it is a better fit” for the lens to be displayed on The Hawk, suggested Stoddart. “A lot of people go down there and will see it. I think it’s better served there, actually.”
The lens is currently in storage at a warehouse in Clark’s Harbour with its components still in the 19 crates they were packaged in some 30 years ago before making the journey across the Bay of Fundy.
Stoddart said he is hoping to soon get started with cleaning and reconstruction of the third order Fresnel lens, which will require some expertise.