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Region of Queens Municipality

Nova Scotia, Canada

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Attractions Lighthouses Western Head Above Content

The lighthouse has an octagonal concrete tower with an aluminum lantern. In 1961 the keeper's dwelling at Coffin Island fell into serious disrepair and it was decided that it would be more reasonable to destaff it and add a tower to the existing Western Head fog alarm station that had been in existence since 1930. Some of the duties of the Western Head keeper beginning in 1962 were:

  • Climbing the 40 foot tower to polish the lantern;
  • General maintenance of the automatic fog alarms – it was especially important to keep them free of snow and ice;
  • Monitoring arrivals and departures at the Coast Guard helipad on site, keeping track of the pilot's name, time of arrival/departure and intended route – this would prove essential if Coast Guard officials were to lose contact with any of their aircraft;
  • Acting as a tour guide for the many visitors to the station every year.

The facility serves as an Environment Canada weather station which is constantly monitored by automatic equipment. Years ago when the station was staffed by three keepers, the keeper on duty was required to call Bedford every hour on the hour to report the weather conditions. Rough weather was an occupational hazard – high winds would sometimes force them to use the back door, as they couldn't open the front one.
The radio beacon at this site kept signal time. If that clock were to go off kilter, the light keeper would be responsible to correct it. If he did not have it rectified within 30 minutes, the Coast Guard would call to make sure the light keeper was aware.

Western Head was destaffed in 1988 but continues to be a guiding light for mariners to this day.

The lighthouse is located at 159 Lighthouse Road in Western Head, 11 minutes from Fort Point Lighthouse in Liverpool via School Street. The lighthouse is on the west side of the entrance of Liverpool Bay. Please note that on foggy days the foghorn is extremely loud as you approach the lighthouse so hearing protection might be required.

GPS: 44.989109, -64.661495

 

 

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