Although Victoria Brooks, the Municipality of Yarmouth’s CAO, says she cannot comment on Friends of the Yarmouth Light’s (FOYL) recent press release because of lease negotiations, she has provided some information on the operation of the Cape Forchu lighthouse site this summer.
The municipality took possession of the property in 2001 and has invested significantly in maintenance costs (some with funding from other sources) and renovations.
FOYL, a mostly volunteer group, was appointed as caretakers at that time. Dedicated members have donated thousands of hours towards improvements, building archival information and other work over the years.
Because of restrictions that the municipality has announced in how the iconic property will be operated in the future, Friends of the Yarmouth Light is vacating the premises and establishing a new museum at the Killam Brothers building on Water Street in Yarmouth.
Brooks says summer staff has been hired by the municipality for the Cape Forchu lighthouse property.
“The municipality received federal funding to help off-set some of the staff costs. The balance of the four positions is being funded by MoDY,” she said.
The site, including the Leif Ericson trail, is now open for visitors.
It’s expected that all services, including the Keeper’s Kitchen, will be operating by the first week of June.
The municipality and the Keeper’s Kitchen will be collaborating to set hours for the site. The schedule will be made to accommodate the demands of visitors – including ferry traffic.
The municipality has always had a full-time seasonal maintenance person on site and that will continue, says Brooks.
The Keeper’s Kitchen will also be operating a gift shop.
Many more visitors expected at Cape Forchu Lighthouse in 2019
In the spring of 2018, the Cape Forchu lighthouse property, along with a hangar at the Yarmouth Airport, was transformed into a temporary movie set for the production of the film The Lighthouse. The set included a full-size lighthouse from the 1800s era and a lighthouse keeper’s house at the end of the Leif Ericson trail.
The movie stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson and was directed by Robert Eggers.
It is set for release in 2019.