Monday, November 2, 2009

Excerpt from 1876 publication extolling Swallow Tail

J.G. Lorimer wrote "History of Island and Islets in the Bay of Fundy, Charlotte County, New Brunswick: From their earliest settlement to the present time; including Sketches of Shipwrecks and other event of exciting interest" in 1876. There are several references to "Swallow Tail" as it was then called, including:

On this peninsula we have at its extremity east, the Swallow Tail, and on the Swallow Tail a lighthouse, from base to deck 45 feet: and the point on which it stands, being 103 feet above high water, makes the elevation of the light 148 feet total elevation. There is a keeper's house, in addition to the lighthouse, and other smaller buildings for stores, tools, oil, &c., all painted white. The keeper, Mr. John W. Kent, being quite neat and tasty of himself, spares no pains to keep his buildings in trim also. The light reflectors cast a brilliant gleam over the waters of the bay and help to chase away the gloom of darkness, and it may be of fear from many a storm-tossed mariner. The view from the Swallow Tail, or west of the bridge, neat the Saw-pit, on a clear day, can hardly be excelled. Part of the coast of Maine, of the north shore in Charlotte County, Campobello, the Wolves Islands, Pennfield, Chamcook Mountain and the numerous hill tops extending from St. George to St Andrews are all visible to the naked eye. It is a standpoint from which the observer can see too, the blue line of the Nova Scotia shore lying along the horizon as if pencilled there by a marine artist. Now a large square-rigger looms up, and another, and another; then smaller craft in scores. The smoke, too, of a steamer lazily floating along over the still waters gives rise to thought. Has she crossed the Atlantic, or is she from Halifax or Yarmouth or the State? Or is she bound out to traverse the treacherous ocean, bearing a precious freight of human souls? If so, may the voyage be propitious and free from harm over the wide waste of waters. No visitor to Grand Manan should leave it, if convenient at all, without a walk to the top of the highest land at Pettes' Cove, especially if the day be fine and free from fog. The scenery of land and sea from it will well repay the time.

Even in 1876, Swallowtail was appreciated for both the neatness of the lighthouse and keeper buildings, and also the amazing vista it affords. The only exception to that written above is that part of the coast of Maine is not visible unless a high hill is visible above Campobello Island.

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