Sunday, January 18, 2009

A new beginning

Swallowtail lighthouse has guided ships around the northeastern tip of Grand Manan Island since 1860. The lightkeepers' house has seen many changes, including a brand new building built beside the original house in 1958. The ownership of the lightkeepers house, boat house and land extending back over the foot bridge to the old Ross Island boat house and pump house at the top of the hill were tranferred from the federal government to the Village of North Head in 1994. When the villages and local service groups on Grand Manan were amalgamated in 1996, the new Village of Grand Manan became the legal owners.

Run as a bed and breakfast for a few years, the lightkeepers house and associated buildings have been empty for a number of years. The Village had not been able to find a suitable use for the buildings and were considering selling the property, although they soon discovered this was not an option.

The Swallowtail Keepers Society, a group of concerned people, was established in 2008 to bring the buildings back to life and become a symbol of civic pride for the island.

We are currently negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding and lease with the Village and have lots of exciting plans, including celebrating in 2010 the sesquicentennial of lighting Swallowtail Light.

Anyone interested in helping with work projects or have great ideas for future uses, fundraising, etc. are asked to contact the committee.

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