Having spent the best part of a week restoring “a cool piece of Minden’s history” over the summer, Sharon Lake resident Brian McGroarty wants to reassure area residents that an old lighthouse, that for decades sat on a property overlooking Hwy. 35, lives on.
In August, while returning home from a morning scouring for goodies at area garage sales, McGroarty and his partner Jan Delville noticed something different about the lighthouse they had long admired – it had a small ‘for sale’ sign attached to it.
“This lighthouse has been on that property forever, I think for over 40 years” McGroarty said, referencing the home immediately north of the Kawartha Dairy and Minden Coin Wash. “I love something that has history and character, and when you come across something like this it really doesn’t get any better.”
McGroarty spent $100 to acquire the lighthouse and a further $100 to restore it. The finished product now sits in his backyard on Sharon Lake Drive, overlooking the water.
Many of his neighbours and visitors to the lake have marvelled at the structure, McGroarty said. The couple are renowned in their neighbourhood for decorating their property with antiques and collectibles.
Adding the lighthouse was an opportunity McGroarty says he could not pass up. Now, it will serve as the crown jewel of their lakefront home.
“When I tell friends and family about the lighthouse, their immediate reaction is to go ‘aww, you got that?’ I think a lot of people have recognized it over the years, which is why I wanted to come forward and let people know where they can find it,” McGroarty said. “I think people will have noticed it’s not there anymore. I know that I have it, and I still find myself looking towards that same spot when I drive by.”
He and Delville said they would welcome any visitor who wanted to stop by, check it out and get a few photos.
“It’s a piece of Minden history. We don’t just want to keep it for ourselves,” Delville said.
As well as the main structure, which stands around eight feet tall, McGroarty also took possession of a smaller lighthouse, which he says he plans to refurbish next year. While he doesn’t yet know where he will put that lighthouse, he says it will be well away from the main structure – likely on the front of his property, overlooking Sharon Lake Drive.
“I’ve always been attracted to these little oddities. I see beauty in things old and worn down,” McGroarty said. “I’m just so happy to have been able to get my hands on this lighthouse. It really did deserve to be fixed up and showed off. It’s a beautiful piece.”