Revisiting Caribou Island’s Light Station
In the late summer of 1978, my husband Glenn, who worked for the Canadian Coast Guard, was offered a temporary posting on the Caribou Light Station in the middle of Lake Superior. The regular lightkeeper, Bert Hopkins, had suffered a heart attack, and was on medical leave for three weeks. This particular light station had a special place in my heart, as my grandfather George Johnston was the lightkeeper from 1912 to 1921. Glenn was given permission to bring me and our three-year-old son, Adam, along with him.
Early in September, we loaded up a coast guard truck and drove to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., where we met the C.C.G.S. Verendrye. Captain Hodge and his crew safely transported us to the Caribou Light Station; the actual light station was on a small four-acre island, simply called Lighthouse Island, adjacent to the larger Caribou Island. Due to the shallow water around the small island, we completed the trip in an open boat. Bert’s wife Pearl was on hand to welcome us to the light station, and we settled into a comfortable, three-bedroom house for the next three weeks.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, a tiny “hitchhiker” accompanied us on our journey. He soon made his presence known, however, when I began to experience morning sickness! Upon our return to “civilization,” a doctor confirmed that our family was growing, and the following spring we welcomed our second son, Luke.
Check out the beautiful abandoned structures of Nova Scotia.