Lightkeeper’s Journal #3 – Memories

From the Lightkeeper’s Journal

Memories from the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society


By Rebecca Quinn

SPLPSed - 047While “The Mysteries of the Lighthouse” may sound like the title of a Nancy Drew novel, the 100 year old Sheringham Point Lighthouse seems to be surrounded by quite real puzzles that would leave even the great sleuth herself stumped. The lighthouse is said to be haunted, by whom, though, is still unclear; one of the light keepers seems to have disappeared without a trace though perhaps the Coast Guard could solve that riddle); and what of the lighthouse’s future?

Elanie Bruton, daughter of the last lightkeeper, Jim Bruton, insists the lighthouse is haunted. She says, however, that whoever (or whatever) it is, “it’s a friendly something.” Elanie humourously recounts her experiences with the ghost of Sheringham Point–paint scrapers and razor blades that kept relocating from the windowsill to the work bench (until her father gave up putting them back on the windowsill); extra guests at parties who walked down hallways, through bolted doors and up and down stairs that should have creaked, but didn’t; and neighbours who nonchalantly said, “Oh that’s just Fred Mountain”, when Elanie’s brother described a mysterious stranger he’d seen in the house. Fred Mountain was the last-but-one keeper at Sheringham
who, sadly, died suddenly at the station.

And then there is the riddle of Alfred Dickenson. The third lightkeeper, after Eustace Arden and Thomas C. Cross, Dickenson was on station from 1946 to 1948. It is known that he was born in
Yorkshire, England, in about 1885. He came to Sheringham Point at age 61, but where he went after he left remains a mystery as far as local historians (and this researcher) are concerned. He seems to have just evaporated with the fog.

But the real mystery of Sheringham Point is what its fate will be. Sheringham Point Lighthouse is celebrating its 100th birthday, but after having stood guard on the spectacular point for so long, it continues to be a mystery whether the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society’s dream of turning the land into a park or a heritage site will be realised. As one resident points out, “Sheringham Point Lighthouse has the chance to be preserved that other pieces of
the past, such as the wooden totem poles that once lined the coast, never had. If one believes we have an obligation to preserve the past for the future, there are few opportunities in this part of the country. I think Sheringham is a big one.”

Please help preserve and protect the land, access and light station by joining the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society

One Comment

  1. Greetings and congratulations for the valuable work you have done and are doing. For me it has special importance as I was Jr. keeper approx. from ’70
    to 74. I’s da bye dat built da boat (if you’ve heard about that). Big hug for
    Elanie who is associated with you I understand, and likewise to Linda, Sharon
    and Joe. Good memories.

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