As the granddaughter of a lighthouse keeper, I come by my love of lighthouses honestly. Anyone who knows about the early 20th century lighthouse keepers understands it was the vocation of the whole family, not just the keepers. It was more than a job: it was a lifestyle. Often romanticized, the truth is it was hard work and a position that bore great responsibility. It was through the dedication of the keepers that these lighthouses remained functional and in good repair in order to save and protect the lives of mariners. I would like to share the story of one of those lighthouses, which I affectionately call “Grampie’s Lighthouse.”
My connection with it began in my childhood in the early 60’s when I used to play in the lighthouse that stood beside my grandparent’s home in Waterside. It was a magical playhouse full of adventure and imagination. I would climb the steep ladder stairs to the landing, where the old lantern would have hung. I imagined myself being the keeper, lighting the lantern or searching the waters below Anderson Hollow for sailors. My grandfather died before I had the opportunity to know him so I associated the lighthouse with him and began to call it Grampie’s Lighthouse. For me, it came to represent my grandfather and the history of my family as keepers before they moved from the Martin Head Lighthouse to Waterside in 1932. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered the lighthouse was actually called the Anderson Hollow Lighthouse.
In recent years, the Anderson Hollow Lighthouse has been in decline. Time, the elements and vandalism have not been kind to it. Like a lot of historical preservation projects in our province, the Anderson Hollow Lighthouse relies solely on volunteerism, and the donation of supplies and materials and other resources for upkeep and maintenance. The site requires volunteers willing to do the jobs, like weekly mowing and garbage removal in the summer, general painting and replacement of missing pieces, as well as monitoring the lighthouse for frequent vandalism and repairing the subsequent damage.
If you would like to volunteer or be involved with the lighthouse maintenance or repair, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact information will be used to inform volunteers of future meetings and work sessions.