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Iconic Summerside lighthouse getting some TLC

A helicopter is being employed by the Canadian Coast Guard as it works to replace an aged helicopter landing pad at the Indian Head Lighthouse in Summerside Harbour.
A Coast Guard helicopter makes a delivery to a repair crew working at Indian Head Lighthouse in the fall of 2018. - Colin MacLean

An integral part of Summerside’s waterfront vista is getting a major facelift.

Indian Head Lighthouse, which sits at the end of the breakwater protecting the harbour, is up for renovation.

“The entire exterior of the lighthouse is being refurbished, including new siding and a new roof," said a spokesperson for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Additional work will include painting, repairs to the deck surrounding the structure and removal of the old helicopter landing pad.

Over the next couple of weeks, a Coast Guard helicopter will be loading equipment via a sling net and carrying it to the repair crew working on the project.

These renovations follow a project last fall which saw the construction of a new helipad at the lighthouse.

According to the Virtual Museum of Canada, Indian Head Lighthouse was built in 1881. Because of the small landmass it had to sit on, it was built with a keeper’s residence on the ground floor with its light jutting out of the roof of its octagonal structure. Despite the fact that there was a residence, none of the keepers who manned the light ever lived there full-time. Most rowed or sailed back and forth to the light every day.

In recent decades, a helicopter has typically been used to access the lighthouse when maintenance or repairs are required.

The lighthouse and the scenic Lower Bedeque shore closest to it have become popular attractions for locals and visitors alike.

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