August 18, 1904
A newly completed lighthouse in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia was first lit. This lighthouse, which is located in the community of Gilbert’s Cove on the western coast of Nova Scotia, was built primarily to help guide schooners sailing up and down St. Mary’s Bay in that region of Canada. Many of those schooners were used for transporting lumber.
J. William “Willie Jane” Melanson served as the first keeper of Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse. He moved into the lighthouse with his wife May and their four-month-old son Percy. Over time, Willie Jane and May Melanson had four more children who likewise resided at Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse.
Willie Jane Melanson was the keeper at Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse until 1950, when he retired at the age of 75. His daughter Louise succeeded him as the lighthouse’s keeper. After Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse was automated in 1965, Louise Melanson continued to live there until her death seven years later. Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse remained in operation until 1975, and a decorative light has been on display there in the time since then.
Photo Credit: walknboston (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)
Additional information on Gilbert’s Cove Lighthouse is available at https://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=1344 and https://www.gilbertscovelighthouse.com/index.php/light-keepers
For more information on lighthouses in the western part of Nova Scotia, please check out https://www.ibiblio.org/lighthouse/ns5.htm