Even as the light station was under construction, the question of who would be appointed keeper became one of public debate. A government position was much prized in the late nineteenth century and candidates were often selected on the basis of their political connections.
The lighthouse service was particularly subject to patronage.
“The light-house Keeper and his assistants are required to be sober, industrious, attending to their duties and orderly in their families.” So stated the Department of Marine & Fisheries in its Rules And Instructions For The Guidance Of Lighthouse-Keepers (1905). The “duties” were rigidly prescribed and strictly carried out. The lamps were lit and kept at full brilliancy between sunset and sunrise, as well as in foggy or dark weather or “as may be necessary for the security of navigation.” The revolving beacon at Cabot Head obliged the keeper or his assistant to be on watch throughout the night.
A significant addition to the duties of the keeper, especially in the autumn, occurred during World War One. In 1914 range lights leading into Wingfield Basin were built and in 1915 a storm-warning system was established. The latter required the display of appropriate signals from atop a sixty-foot tower and required quick action when the meteorological forecast was received over the telephone line from Toronto.
This history is dedicated to the Cabot Head Light Keepers
- William Campbell, 1896
- S. J. Parke, 1869-1898
- Charles Webster, 1898-1906
- Leslie Martindale, 1906-1925
- Howard Boyle, 1926-1951
- Harry Hopkins, 1951-1982
- Brent Skippen, 1982-1987