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Council’s written support necessary for bid to save County lighthouses

Following a motion of the Heritage Advisory Committee, Councillor Alec Lunn will ask that the municipality of Prince Edward issue two letters to the department of fisheries and oceans supporting plans of Hastings and Prince Edward Land Trust to acquire and conserve False Ducks Lighthouse and Point Petre Lighthouse.

Lunn is to address the letters at council’s committee of the whole meeting Thursday.

The Hastings Prince Edward Land Trust (HPELT) has submitted plans to acquire the lighthouses under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

Marc Seguin, executive director of Save Our Lighthouses, has been co-ordinating the effort and noted that before the department of fisheries and oceans will proceed with evaluating the business plans, letters of support from the municipality are required.

“There would be no cost to the municipality to do this and this would not commit the municipality to any monetary support at any time,” said Seguin.

A summary of plans for each lighthouse:
-to conserve the lighthouse by performing general annual maintenance and capital repairs as necessary
– if the entire 40+ acres of False Ducks Island is included in the acquisition, to keep the land in trust and to allow no development or improvement of the island
-none of the land would be disposed of to other parties
-no new buildings or structures would be constructed on the island
-the island would be open to the public, but no public facilities would be constructed.

-to conserve the lighthouse by performing general lannual maintenence and capital repairs as necessary
-in addition to acquiring the lighthouse from DFO, HPELT is also attempting to acquire approximately eight acres of surrounding land from Environment Canada
-the surrounding land includes the old lightkeeper’s dwelling, the old radio beacon control shack, a two car garage, the site of the original 1832 lighthouse, an the site of the original 1833 keeper’s dwelling
-if all fo these structures, in addition to the current lightouse, is included in the acquisition, it is HEPLT’s intention to lease most of the buildings and land to the Prince Edward Bird Point Observatory for use as a bird-banding station and an avian research and education facility.
-none of the land would be disposed of to other parties.
-no new buildings or structures would be constructed on the land.
-the land would be open to the public, restricted only by the seasonal operational requirements of the bird-banding station.

Seguin, last summer, sent out the call to save Prince Edward County lighthouses. Five of the County’s six remaining lighthouses were nominated under the terms of the federal Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. The sixth, the Salmon Point Lighthouse property, is privately owned.

“These lighthouses represent a unique part of the County’s history,” he said. “Lighthouses are no longer being built.  Many of the lighthouses that once graced the County’s shores have been demolished.  Those that remain deserve to be protected.

The five lighthouses are as follows:
-Hillier Ward – Scotch Bonnet Island Lighthouse, 1856
-Athol Ward – Point Petre Lighthouse, 1967 and lightkeeper’s cottage, 1962
-South Marysburgh Ward – Prince Edward Point Lighthouse (Pt. Traverse), 1881
– False Ducks Island Lighthouse (Swetman Is.), 1965
– Main Duck Island Lighthouse, 1914 and two lightkeepers’ cottages

The Heritage Lighthouse Program of Parks Canada has determined that these five lighthouses are eligible to be designated under the HLPA.  The sixth lighthouse, the Salmon Point Lighthouse (Wicked Pt.), 1871, being privately owned and is not eligible under this Act.  However, the Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee is looking into requesting that the Salmon Point lighthouse be designated under the terms of the Ontario Heritage Act.

“The Scotch Bonnet Island Lighthouse is owned by Environment Canada, and the Prince Edward Point lighthouse is owned by Parks Canada.  Once these lighthouses receive their heritage designation under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, those government departments will be responsible for the ongoing conservation of the lighthouses in accordance with the ‘Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada’.

Seguin says the other three lighthouses, Point Petre, False Ducks, and Main Duck, are owned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), but they have been declared surplus to departmental requirements.
Under the HLPA, a surplus lighthouse can only be designated if a person or organization agrees to take ownership of the lighthouse and to conserve it.

PEC lighthouses rev

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    I am in the process of trying to paint the lighthouses, at present Main Duck. My favourite lighthouse is Point Traverse and I hope it can be refurbished.
    Thanks to all the people who are working hard on this project–very worthwhile

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