Saving history

Community Featured

Trenton making effort to save lighthouse

If you spent any amount of time crossing the Trenton Connector, no matter your age, a small white lighthouse, once adorned with an orange stripe and light — the iconic piece of the landscape — is in the process of being saved from demolition.

Local contractor Atlas Contracting was ordered to demolish the lighthouse by the Federal Government but as Trenton Mayor Don Hussher heard that the lighthouse would be taken down, he made a call to Central Nova MP Sean Fraser in an effort to save the structure.

“Trenton is interested in keeping the lighthouse,” said Hussher. “It has been decommissioned.”

He added that for as long as he can remember and further back than that the lighthouse has been standing on that point of land. Through research, Hussher found out it had once been used to help ships guide their way through the river and ensure they did not go too far to the dead-end just past the connector. Trenton resident and former town councillor Fergie MacKay, who wrote a book about Little Harbour, confirmed that the lighthouse was used to guide ships when the traffic on the river was more substantial.

“We’re interested in using it to enhance the entrance of our town,” the mayor said.

Hussher added that as they work further to obtain the lighthouse they will be doing more research on the structure. Currently, he and town staff are working with the Federal Government to obtain ownership of the lighthouse.

“They now need to conduct an assessment,” shared Fraser, who has been helping coordinate between the town and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans who have ownership over the lighthouse. Fraser said that after the assessment phase, if the structure is not considered a danger then it will be declared surplus. Because the structure sits on provincial land the option to take ownership will go to the province first, then the town, which is actively seeking ownership. He added that if the town were to pass on purchasing the lighthouse then it would go to a public auction.

Although the history of the lighthouse may not be accounted for in the assessment, Fraser said there are other factors besides safety.

“It’s not so much the length of time so much as the importance to the community,” he said. Having been involved in similar projects it is always satisfying to see the lighthouses go back to the community, he said.

“Once again we will take history and use it to beautify our town,” Hussher said.

Left, Frankie Levionnois and Dallis Allen, Atlas Contracting owner, work to seal the lighthouse structure until it is is decided whether or not it will be saved. (Brimicombe photo)