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THE LIGHTHOUSE TOWER

Having always been fascinated by towers, I first designed a tower-cottage in high school, where I received one of the highest marks in Quebec for the drafting course I was enrolled

in.  I vowed one day to build one.  Several years ago the time came, and I took on what would be described as my “doctoral thesis in cottage design and

carpentry”.  Living in the Maritimes the most appropriate tower was obviously a lighthouse.  The design had to be traditional and as authentic as possible.  It had timber-framed members of heavy hemlock, typical steel cross bracing.  The finished product had to be authentic.

Although it is still a work-in-progress, most is complete.  The tower will have a glass room with a glass roof for night-gazing and when completed will be 40 feet in height.  Some have described it as the “highest deer stand in New Brunswick”. You can see how it flares out so that there is a balcony around the glass room.  This was important in that lighthouse keepers had to keep the exterior glass clean.  All lighthouses looked different.  Their distinctive appearance and decorative elements, called “daymarks”, were important to sailing vessels out at sea as this was one way in daylight to identify their relative location to land.  The daymark on this lighthouse is a red cross, is typical, called “St. George’s Cross”.

The interior, which is complete, includes a steel spiral staircase that rises 25 feet to the tower floor.  It serves as the main staircase to the cottage’s second floor since the tower is appended to one side of the cottage.