Old Yarmouth Light (Cape Forchu Light)

At The Sign of the Whale Gallery » Crafts » Yarmouth, N.S. Pewter Ornaments » Old Yarmouth Light (Cape Forchu Light)

Each pewter ornament (2 3/8" dia.) is dated and identified on the reverse and comes with a card giving a history of the landmark.

The Old Yarmouth Light at Cape Forchu was built in 1839 and lit January 15, 1840. The red and white octagonal tower housed a plain revolving light which in 1908 was replaced bya classic Fresnel lens (now on display at the Yarmouth County Museum). The lens was floated in a vat of mercury and rotated by weights on the principle of a Grandfather clock. The weights had to be wound every three hours during the night and the rotation blocked in the morning by bolts inserted in the mechanism.

The source of the light was first a kerosene lamp, then a pressurized vapor lamp, and finally electricity generated in the lighthouse station itself. Herbert Cunningham Sr., the light keeper from 1922 to 1952, found a vapor lamp good when it worked, but the light hard to maintain. It had to be watched carefully as it would go out at times. He estimated that in his time as light keeper he climbed the tower stairs at least 47,000 times. The light shone 15 – 20 miles out to sea.

The Old Light was replaced in 1962 by the modern structure. Both have been major tourist attractions and “Yarmouth, N.S. Landmarks”.

Price: $15.95