© Courtesy of Lynn Atwell
The Digby Pier Light on the pier in Digby in the early 1900s.
The Digby Pier Light is coming home to Digby.
Digby mayor Ben Cleveland told the Courier this morning, Wednesday, Sept. 12, that the lighthouse will be back this fall.
The mayor received a phone call from Kent MacIntyre, chair of Saint John Waterfront Development. MacIntyre was in Digby in early August to talk with Cleveland about the lighthouse.
He prepared a report for Saint John councillors who decided this week they want it to come back to Digby…. under two conditions.
“They want us to bring some scallops,” says Cleveland. “And they want us to make a day of it over there, a celebration with people from both communities.”
The Digby Pier Light was originally erected at the end of the pier in Digby in 1903. In the 1970s, when the pier was no longer being used, the Coast Guard moved the lighthouse to a depot in Saint John for storage.
In 1983 the Coast Guard gave the light to the city of Saint John to display on the waterfront a few metres from the Coast Guard depot.
The Saint John Water Front Development Corporation is currently working on a multi-year development on the waterfront called the Fundy Quay development—for that development they have already moved a one-room schoolhouse on display there and will need to move the Digby Pier Light somewhere as well.
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Cleveland first brought up getting the light back three years ago with then Mayor of Saint John Ivan Court. Cleveland made more public comments in July this year when he learned of development planned for Saint John’s water front.
Cleveland is now working on the logistics of getting the lighthouse home and planning for the celebration.
He says Bay Ferries has agreed to help move the light but he has also talked to a local lobster fisherman about bringing it across the Bay and in the Gut on a fishing boat.
“He’s not concerned about the weight but the height of it,” says Cleveland. “We need some good weather for that to work out.”
The plan at this point is to display the lighthouse on the Admiral Digby Museum grounds until the new breakwater by the wharf is finished and then possibly move it out there.
Cleveland says Saint John wants to have the light moved within the next six to eight weeks but Cleveland is hoping to get things arranged within the next month.