Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 45 > Page 50 - The Martells of Flint Island Light

Page 50 - The Martells of Flint Island Light

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/6/1 (279 reads)

chores. And then when we'd finish, we'd quilt, or we'd hook mats, or things like that. The girls. There always seemed to be something to do. The boys always had their chores outside. But like, you say, what would Mama's work be? But you're looking at 12 and 14 kids! By the time you would wash for them. And, like I said, when she wasn't washing in the washer, she was wash? ing in the tub. (What was your Dad's job?) First of all, you'd have to get up in the morning, and you'd put the light out. Don't forget, this light is going all night. Then you had to make sure that it was clean, and your mantles--you'd have to make sure that it was ready for the next night. Then you'd have to make sure that the engines were in perfect condition, because you had to use them through the day, if necessary. In the fog station. (Was there an engine for the lighthouse?) No. In the lighthouse, you had to go up 3 flights of stairs. The lighthouse was 90 feet high. And each lev? el- -there was a weight--in each one of the ceilings there were 3 holes. You had to wind up those weights. You had to go to the top of the light; you'd wind those weights up. And when they'd start, this is what would make your light, go around. And when it revolves--it has those big magnify? ing glasses--and as they turn each way, when it revolves, this is where you get your flashes on each side. (So is it the NEED A MUFFLER SHOCKS? BRAKES? FAST, QUALITY SERVICE BY EXPERTS FOR YOUR CAR, TRUCK OR VAN- NA TIONALL Y GUARANTEED FREE INSPECTION & ESTIMATES COMPETITIVE PRICES MUFFLERS SHOCKS BRAKES COIL SPRINGS Master Muffler & Brake Centre PHONE 539-6691 349 GEORGE ST., DOWNTOWN SYDNEY, N.S. Your Next Prescription Now P Locations in Cape Breton to Serve You CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA 564-8151 MAYFLOWER MALL 539-5080 Operated by Manson Drugs Ltd. (50) magnifying glass that's actually turning?) Yes. Around the mantle. And as the weights come down, this is what's making it turn around. And you had to go up in the lighthouse--if it was dark, you'd light it at 4 o'clock (in the afternoon), okay? So you'd have to go up at 8 o'clock, and 12 o'clock, and 4 o'clock in the morning. And you'd have to wind those weights up. (Through the night. So the thing only ran for 4 hours.) Yes. And if that weight went to the bottom, if you overslept or something and that weight went to the bottom, the light would stop. So therefore they would have to go up those 3 shifts a night. And the boys used to take their turn. When I was out on the island with Dad (after most of the family had left), I used to take one of them. And I hated it. Especially 12 o'clock at night, going out in that spooky lighthouse. It was just--if you dropped anything down, you'd get this awful noise. Well, you can just picture, a hollow place, and you drop something in it, how the sound would carry. So this is what they had to do every night. That was like a ritual that they had to do. (And this was 7 days a week.) This was 7 days a week. You're not talking about just once in awhile. And see, and if they didn't do that, the light would stop. And therefore people would think there was something wrong, or else they weren't get? ting the message, if there were ships out in the water. It was all for a purpose. It had its good points and it had its bad. But we didn't think we missed anything when we were out there. (And coming in, did you think you'd missed anything?) Once we started to see how the other half lived. We missed plenty. (What did they have that you didn't have, in the '30s?) Well, I guess, communication with other people. (There wasn't any way in which you felt on top because you had been out there?) No. We felt sort of down under. When we were out there, we didn't think we were missing anything. But then when we came in, we always felt like we were a Functional Stoneware and Custom Dinnerware Turnstone Pottery Jack Ouellette, Potter WHEELTHROWN Studio and Showroom on the Harbour 226-3004 Arichat, Isle Madame Read a good book ... Listen to some music ... from our branch libraries and bookmobiles in Richmond, Inverness, and Guysborough counties.
Cape Breton's Magazine
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