Grand Passage (North) Light, Brier Island

David Davies

Weymouth, Canada

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Artist's Description

(Lighthouse Friends.com) Brier Island Lighthouse (North Light) is located on the northern point of the island and marks the northwest side of the entrance to Grand Passage, which runs between Brier Island and Long Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Passage Shoal and Cow Ledge Shoal are maritime hazards found in Grand Passage, which is made even more treacherous by tide streams that can run at a rate of up to five or six knots.

The first lighthouse on Brier Island was constructed in 1901 as a square wooden pyramidal tower, painted white and topped by an octagonal red lantern. A fog bell, supported by a framework near the light tower, was established at the station in 1904. During thick or foggy weather, machinery gave the bell single strokes at five-second intervals.

In 1905, keeper’s dwellings were built for the two light stations on Brier Island, Grand Passage and Brier Island, by Mr. E. C. Bowers, of Westport, for a contract price of $3,150. Charles Buckman was the fist keeper of Grand Passage Lighthouse, serving from 1901 until his death in 1940.

While Buckman was keeper he picked up a bottle in November 1914 that contained a leaf from a memorandum book. One side of the paper was an Eastern Steamship Company’s advertisement, and on the reverse was penned the following: August 8th, 1914 – German war ship off Coast of Maine.

The original light was demolished in 1968 and replaced by the current lighthouse, a white square concrete tower with a red lantern room connected to one corner of a square, flat-roofed, one-story building.

Lawrence F. (Pete) Welch had been keeper of the Brier Island Lighthouse, known locally as North Light, for four years when it was unmanned in 1988. The station’s fog bell can be seen at the post office in Digby where it is part of memorial to those lost at sea.

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Artwork Comments

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