Peggy’s Cove  Lighthouse

The Village of Peggy’s Cove was founded in 1811 when the Province of Nova Scotia issued a grant entitling six families to over 800 acres of land. It was not long after this time that the village began to flourish with developments such as a church, a general store, several fish houses and a lobster factory. This fishing village is famed for its picturesque and typically east-coast profile, with houses perched along a narrow inlet and on wave-washed boulders facing the Atlantic Ocean. Although this unique environment has been designated one of the world’s preservation areas, it is still an active fishing community. The village is open year-round.


Painting of Disaster on Halibut Rock

The first Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse was a wooden structure that acted as a navigational aid and provided as well living quarters for the lighthouse keeper and his family. During World War II, the Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse was used by the Royal Canadian Navy as a radio station.

Because the people of Peggy’s Cove were familiar with the damages resulting from severe weather, it was anticipated the old wooden structure would eventually be taken by a storm. After withstanding many storms, the old lighthouse was damaged beyond repair during Hurricane Edna in 1954.  A second lighthouse, the world-renowned Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, was built to replace it. This lighthouse was manned until 1958. At this time it became completely automated. During the summer months, the lower level of the lighthouse is the Village Post Office. Here, visitors can send postcards and letters to friends and family. Each piece of mail receives a special frank or cancellation mark that is in the shape of the lighthouse. The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove is perhaps the most frequently photographed site in Nova Scotia.  
Peggy’s Cove Harbour

It is recorded in the Minutes book of St. John’s Church, that a public meeting was held in 1847 for the purpose of collecting money to build the community’s first church. Over one hundred people contributed pounds, shillings, and pence towards the cause, and between the years of 1847 and 1850, St. John’s Church was erected.

St. John’s Church

The original church unfortunately burnt to the ground in 1881 and a second public meeting was held for the purpose of raising funds for the second church. The second church was built between the years of 1881 and 1883 and is still being used by the residents of Peggy’s Cove. St. John’s Church is open to the public on a limited basis throughout the summer months. With its Gothic windows and lathed walls, the building is an architectural delight.

In his book, This is Peggy’s Cove, Bill deGarthe wrote:

Many have asked, “How did Peggy’s Cove get its name? There are two versions in existence and the first has more generally been accepted, because of its romantic and dramatic appeal to most people. The story goes that a schooner was wrecked on “Halibut Rock” off the Lighthouse Point, in a “Southeaster”, in sleet and fog on a dark October night. The ship ran hard aground and with high waves washing her decks, some of her crew climbed to the masts, but the waves washed them into the boiling sea. Everyone on board was lost except a woman, who managed to survive the turbulent seas, swam ashore and was finally rescued by the people on the shore.

Her name was Margaret, and she married one of the eligible bachelors of the Cove. The people from near-by places used to come and visit Peggy of the Cove, and before long they began to call the place Peggy’s Cove. How true this story is, no one knows, and there are no documents available to confirm or refute it. (I like this version – CAPER) 

Book Advertisement – Note name of Author who operates The Museum

In the second version, perhaps not so romantic, but more logical, Peggy’s Cove, being situated at the entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay, was shortened from Margaret’s Cove, to the more intimate name of Peggy’s Cove, a name world famous now for a place of scenic beauty, where tourists gather from far and near.

(Article suggested by Ed McCready – CAPER)


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by John Granville on January 17, 2011 at 20:32

    I am very interested in Bill Degarthe as he was my baby sitter in the early 1940s in Timberlea.
    One of his early jobs was as an illustrator for my uncle Frank Wallace`s advertising agency, until he left for full time art.
    He was a fine man, greeted me like a son every year that I returned.
    In the early days I asked him to paint a fishing scene for $1000, to be paid at $100 per month. Seven months after the date he wrote back telling me his wife thought I had paid enough!


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