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Friday, April 02, 2010

"And So It Goes......."

With Emmanuel Warre's death in 1845, James Cantwell took over as the second light keeper since the light was first lit on September 1st, 1836. He brought with him his wife and ten children from Trepessay NL to live in the cramped quarters and on the wind-swept cliffs. Right away the Cantwells had misgivings about the strength of the structure and ten years of powerful winter storms had loosened the joints however they hunkered down and made do their peaceful routine.

Their peace would be shattered within a year after they moved in. In Sept.of 1846 a tremendous hurricane struck the east coast of Newfoundland. It would effectively demolish the frail lighthouse at Cape Spear. In the height of the storm with his family huddled together in the kitchen they watched as the house lifted several inches of its' foundation. Every pane of glass was cracked and shattered and the fright that family received on that night at the edge of the cliffs can barely be imagined. The House of Assembly decided it had to be fixed and contracted the original builders of Croake and Parker to do the job and that they did adding chains and cable to anchor the lightouse on the cliff at a cost that far exceeded the original construction.

The lighthouse suffered repeatedly in the decade that followed from the storms that would be known to pound The Cape.

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