Last House



MARCH 25, 1954

Visiting Preacher Tells Of Last House In N. S.

AYLESFORD, Mch. 24 – One of Nova Scotia’s most interesting and picturesque spots is the lighthouse at its southermost tip, Cape Sable Island, Rev. Donald E. Jackson, Aylesford, found on a visit while he was conducting a series of special services in Clarke’s Harbor, Cape Sable Island.

"The light looked so near to us, out at the end of a point of land called The Hawk, that we thought we could drive almost to it, walk a few steps, perhaps cross a little channel, and be there", Mr. Jackson says, "but the journey involved a drive, a long walk across marshes and beaches, and a hazardous voyage in a tiny skiff across a deep wind-swept channel, a quarter a mile wide.

"The lighthouse keeper, Benjamin Smith, who was our guide, led us eventually to his house, as he told us, ‘The last house in Nova Scotia’, where we met his son Sidney and his new bride Betty June. This young lady, friendly and hospitable, is the daughter of Mrs. Evelyn Richardson, author of the two popular books, ‘We Keep a Light’ and ‘Desired Haven’. Betty June’s home is the light on Seal Island, at Bon Portage, 11 miles distant.

(the last sentence in the above paragraph was transcribed as printed in the newspaper .... although wrong? ... Phil Vogler)

"After an enjoyable dinner, good food garnished with good talk in a dining room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, we were shown the lighthouse installations. A lighthouse is always interesting, an isolated eyrie overlooking the sea, with its elaborate lenses, prisms and reflectors, its intense light of a kerosene-oxygen flame and the clock mechanism to keep it all rotating. It was a calm clear day, yet the wind whistled around us, and we saw where the great plates of glass enclosing the light had been cracked by the winter storms.

"As we looked out over the ocean we saw the terrible reefs that had given that point of land its name – The Hawk. One of these stretched unbroken for 3 miles into the sea. Over a hundred years ago, a ship had struck here and sunk with 300 souls on board. That disaster resulted in the building of the first lighthouse. Other reefs and rocks broke the water in every direction and all had taken their toll of ships large or small.

"The fog horn had been sounding half the time I was in Clarke’s Harbor, so we were shown the two large diesel motors which generate pressure to sound their mournful blast 18 miles out to sea.

"On the homeward walk across the little island, we saw herds of sheep which eke out an existence there on the beach grass and seaweed, and the lighthouse keeper’s little herd of cattle. It was a different world from the Annapolis Valley, a world isolated except for the slender telephone line linking with Clarke’s Harbor, and the hazardous journey by skiff across the windy channel. But it was a world of contentment, variety, and the peace which its little population of three would not readily exchange for any other."