In 1997, through the efforts of the NSLPS, Sambro was designated a protected heritage building. It is number one on the list of Canadian lighthouses recommended for preservation by the Canadian Coast Guard to the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities.
|Sambro Lighthouse Reconstruction|
Amazingly, the building has been at risk because the concrete platform on which the lantern rests was disintegrating. Great chunks of concrete were falling off. The wooden sheathing which protects the mortar from salt air was rotting, as well. Thanks to action taken by the NSLPS, repairs have been made. Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister David Anderson committed at least $125,000 to the project.
Work began at the end of August 1998. The concrete platform was chipped away. It was discovered that the 1906 concrete mix used beach sand and stones (a common situation) and the resulting salt in the concrete had caused the deterioration. In addition, the installation of the 1968 aluminum lantern had not been well done. It had to be jacked up and the layer of concrete beneath it removed and replaced. This added extra days and expense to the project. The wooden shingles and strapping were also removed. When this was done, it could be seen that the tower was originally whitewashed. Now we have another research question: when were the shingles first installed? A team of historical experts visited the tower at the end of October and NSLPS should have their reports in February.
The restoration work on the tower was completed in December, 1998, just in time for Sambro�s 240th birthday! Pictures of the Restoration
Contributor: Kathy Brown
Sources: The Sea Road to Halifax, Hugh F. Pullen; The Lighthouse, Dudley Whitney; Lighthouses and Lightships, Lee Chadwick; Rip Irwin, in conversation, and in articles in The Lightkeeper, newsletter of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society.