Old St. Andrews



Sand Reef Light



Sand Reef Light


April 14, 1875
We learn that Mr. John Fisher has been awarded the contract for building the Pier and Lighthouse on the Sand Reef, by the Dominion government.


July 7/1875
The foundation for the Pier and Light House on the reef in the Bay, has been erected and the work is proceeding rapidly. Mr. Fisher, the contractor, has a large force of men employed, and intends to raise the frame of the lighthouse this week. He hopes to have the work completed before the 1st of October.


Jan 28, 1876
New Light House. The lamps in the Lighthouse recently erected on the Sand Reef near the Eastern ballast ground, we omitted to mention, were lighted on the 1st instant, and each following night; the light is brilliant and can be seen from all points in the bay. Capt. James Clark, the oldest Queen’s Pilot, at this Port, has been appointed Light Keeper, and is the right man in the right place; few however would care to exchange places with him, in his lonely and cheerless situation.


Dec 13, 1883
Lighthouse Changes
Cornelius McNichol has taken charge of Bliss Island Light House vice Hugh Maloney transferred to Sand Reef Light House, Passamaquoddy Bay, of which he has taken charge, relieving Mr. John Conley who has been superannuated on a pension, after many years of faithful service.


Feb 18/1892
Scraps of History
Gleaned from the Old Sessions Records of Charlotte
            Who has not heard the old resident dating his affairs “from the time of the cholera?” The first mention of “cholera” appears in the records of the Sessions of charlotte, of April 11, 1832. The following resolutions were then adopted by that body:--
            “Whereas it is enacted by the laws of the Province that all vessels having on board the small pox, yellow fever, putrid bilious fever, or other pestilential or contagious distempers at the time of her departure were known or supposed to prevail or on board of which vessel any person during the voyage had died or been sick of any such distemper or having passengers on board should be subject to such rules and regulations made at any General Session of the Peace.”
            “And whereas a contagious distemper called the cholera morbus, among others, is now raging in the continent of Europe and in Great Britain, and it is highly necessary and expedient that necessary measures should be used to prevent the introduction of all contagious distempers into this Provinces, especially the cholera morbus,”
            “therefore ordered, that all vessels from Europe bound to this County or from any other port having passengers on board shall anchor between the eastern end of St. Andrews island and the Sand reef; that pilots shall furnish masters of vessels with a copy of the printed regulations, or read and explain the same to them. Vessels on arriving within sight of the harbor of St. Andrews to make the signal pointed out by law in the day time and at night to have light in its stead. Captains and supercargoes of any vessel ordered to perform quarantine may hand over to the physician any letters or any papers in such manner as he may direct, which after being sufficiently fumigated to be forwarded to their destination.”


June 11, 1896
St. Andrews Serpent
Light-Keeper Maloney Believes He Saw It Last Summer
It Swam Like a Race-Horse through St. Andrews Bay—No Oarsman Could Overtake it—An Attempt to Shoot it Proved a Failure
“I’ve been reading what Capt. Brooks said about the sea serpent in St. Andrews Bay,” said the light-keeper Maloney of the Sand Reef light to the Beacon, “and I think there is something in it. What makes me think so? Well, I’ll tell you. I think that I saw the self-same serpent last summer. It’s true that I saw nothing 200 feet in length, but I saw something swimming through the Bay the like of which I never saw before and have not seen since. It was not a seal, because a seal will go under once in a while, but this fish or animal, or whatever it was, never put his head under water. It was around here for a about a week and its field of operations seemed to be between Digdeguash and the mouth of the Bay. Several times I saw it passing backward and forward. It always swam with about six feet of its body out of water. It had no tail that was visible to me, but it left a wake behind it like what a stem launch would make. Only once did it pass between the light-house and the shore; on all other occasions it kept well out in the bay. One day I saw it steaming down from “Diggedy” heading straight for the light. Now, though I to myself, I’ll find out what you are, old boy. So I launched my boat, and taking my gun with me, rowed out in the Bay, hoping to get a shot at the creature. But it soon saw me and shifted its course. I followed after I for a while, but I might as well have chased a comet. It went away from me as if I was standing still. I haven’t seen it this season,” said Mr Maloney, “but if that Calais captain saw anything at all he saw my visitor of last summer.”


July 23/1896
A Serpent of Twenty-Five Years Ago
John Bailey, of Vanceboro, Maine, a subscriber of the Beacon and one who always pays up promptly—two circumstances which indicate him to be a man of sound judgment and reliability—writes as follows regarding the sea serpent:--
            “I notice in your papers that a sea serpent has been seen in your neighborhood. Twenty-five years ago, while fishing off the Sand Reef light about daylight with John McWeany, I saw the serpent. He was going down the bay at the rate of forty miles an hour. The water was calm and smooth, but he went to fast that he churned up a sea like a steamboat. He stood two feet out of the water.”
            Who knows but that this is the same monster that has been seen disporting in St. Andrews bay of late?


Dec 10, 1896
The Sand Reef Light is now being tended by Theobald Rooney, lighthouse keeper Maloney having obtained three months leave of absence from the Department.


Aug 8/1901
Governor-General’s Visit
SA Extends the Glad Hand to King Edward’s Representative
. . . On returning to town, the party at once drove to the steamboat wharf, where the Curlew, spick and span, with a rainbow of colors from stem to stern, was in waiting to receive them. The party stepped on board and, accompanied by the reception committee, the town clergymen, Judge Forbes of Saint John , Donald MacMaster, K. C., and a few other invited guests, steamed around the Sand Reef light and over towards Minister’s Island—Sir William Van Horne’s summer home. Of the island pier, the Curlew came to anchor, after which the vice-regal guest and nearly all the other were boated ashore. Sir William Van Horne and Lady Van Horne were on hand to give the party a greeting. A landing having been successfully effected, then Sir William Took charge of the party and showed them about his beautiful grounds. Sir William’s studio, in which there are many artistic products from his brush, was also visited. Carriages were provided and a visit paid to the stock farm on the island. Lady Minto was enchanted with the loveliness of the island and took a number of views with her camera. About an hour was spent in rambling about the lovely island, after which the party bad sir William and family adieu and returned to the Curlew. . . .


Aug 2/1906
At Last the Sea Serpent
Seen In St. Andrews Bay on Thursday Last
The sea serpent has arrived!
There is no longer any doubt about his serpentine majesty holding court in Quoddy waters. On Thursday evening last, about 7 o’clock, the great serpent was seen by light-keeper Theobald Rooney disporting himself quite close to the Sand Reef Light. He had driven two schools of herring ahead of him in the direction of the Holmes weir, when his attention seemed to be suddenly drawn towards the light-house. He moved around quietly for a while, and having satisfied his curiosity, stated off in the direction of Clam Cove head.
            Keeper Rooney looked at the serpent trough his glasses and judged he was between twenty-five and thirty feet long. The head was small and kept up a bobbing motion. That part of the body that was visible looked about the size of a large weir stake. Mr. Rooney at first thought it was a shark, but he could see no fin such as shark have in their back. As the serpent moved out of his range of vision he flipped up his tail in a “bye-bye” sort of way and then glided out of sight.
This not the first sea snake Mr. Rooney has seen in St. Andrews bay. Several years ago, a large one appeared before him and other local fishermen and made a great noise as it scudded through the water. The serpent he saw on Thursday night was moving along in less strenuous fashion and made no noise whatever. Mr. Rooney is a reliable man who is not given to seeing “snakes” other than sea serpents.


Aug 23/1906
The Sea Serpent Again
Capt. Miah Mitchell Sees His Snakeship
Another reputable boatman has come forward to testify to the existence of a sea serpent, or something of that nature, in St. Andrews Bay.
            Capt. Miah Mitchell, sailing master for Mr. J. Howe Allen, of East Orange, New Jersey, is the last man to make the acquaintance of the big snake. “I was skipping along with a nice breeze on Thursday afternoon,” said Capt. Mitchell, “when I saw something ahead of me about a quarter of a mile from the Sand Reef Light house which attracted my attention. It seemed to me about thirty feet long, and was leaving a wake behind it such as would be caused by a boat in motion. I got within twenty feet of it when it suddenly, became aware of my presence. Lifting it head, which seemed to be about the size of a barrel and greyish-brown in color, it looked about from side to side, and then with a rush it was off in the direction of Clam Cove head. Talk about speed, there isn’t a gasoline boat in Quoddy that could hold a candle to this sea serpent. The ‘Evelyn’ wasn’t in it at all. I have seen many fish in my day,” remarked Capt. Mitchell, “but I have never seen anything like this before and don’t expect to again.”
Asked if Mr. Allen had seen the monster, Capt. Mitchell said that Mr. Allen was sleeping in the cabin at the time and he didn’t care to wake him, fearing that he thing would be out of sight when he got up and he would have the laugh on him.


Sept 7/1911
Yacht Race—“Possum” Wins
An interesting event for the summer yachtsmen was the yacht race held in the bay on Friday afternoon. The starting point was from Mr. Hopkins’ yacht, the Seiglinde, which was anchored off the south eastern corner of Tongue Shoal Block, better known as the Sand Reef Light. The course ran direct to Magaguadavic Head, around Hardwood and Hospital islands, and then back to the starting point. When Mr. Hopkins blew the whistle four boats cross the starting line—the Barracouta, owned by Mr. William Hope, the Maple Leaf, owned by Howard Rigby, the Possum, owned by B. H. Robinson (formerly R. B. Van Horne) and the Pak Wan, owned by t. R. Wheelock. The race soon narrowed down to the Barracouta and the Possum, the Barracouta taking the lead at the start, but being overhauled by though Possum before reaching Magaguadavic Head and from that on the Possum increased its lead, winning out by a good margin.