DGJ_8477 – Swallows love Cape Jourimain Lighthouse
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Swallow nests under the top part of the lighthouse.
Cape Jourimain is the most northern part of the Jourimain Islands, which are situated a few kilometers northwest of Cape Tormentine. The islands are linked together and with the mainland by sand bars and were considered navigational hazards being located at the narrowest part of Northumberland Strait, which separates New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Work on building the lighthouse was completed in 1869 with the exception of the lighting apparatus, which had not arrived by the end of the year. John Bent was appointed keeper of Cape Jourimain Lighthouse at an annual salary of 0, and on May 15th, 1870 he first exhibited a temporary light consisting of three lamps, which was used until the intended lighting apparatus was installed on June 7th.
In 1911, Cape Jourimain Lighthouse was moved to a new site by day labour under the direction of B.W. Allen at a cost of 0.54. The illuminating apparatus was improved in 1914 through the installation of a fourth-order dioptric lens.
Cape Jourimain Lighthouse was automated in 1970, and then was decommissioned in 1997 with the opening of the Confederation Bridge. The wooden, octagonal lighthouse that stands seventy-two feet tall was designated a Federal Heritage Building in 1991 due, in part, to “classically inspired details such as the elongated bracketed cornice, the use of belt courses and crown trims and the prominent gallery guardrail.”
Cape Jourimain, an important stopover for migrating birds, was designated for protection by the Canadian Wildlife Service in 1980. The communities near Cape Jourimain were hit hard by the closure of the Cape Tormentine – Borden ferry service and declines in the fisheries, but the opening of Cape Jourimain Nature Centre in 2001 has provided new jobs and tourism.
Although Cape Jourimain Lighthouse is now surrounded by the Nature Centre, the Coast Guard remains responsible for the tower. In 2010 the executive director of the centre, noted that his organization would love to assume ownership of the tower, which desperately needs to be moved away from an eroding shoreline, but the group can’t afford to maintain the historic structure. Cape Jourimain Lighthouse is one of the most picturesque and historic lighthouses in New Brunswick and certainly merits special consideration.