The Connors Bros. Nature Preserve at Point Pea is located on Wallace Cove Road in Blacks Harbour, next to the Grand Manan Ferry terminal within the Fundy Coast Eco-district. The preserve covers 43 hectares (roughly 100 acres) with 2 km of coastline.
Pea Island was purchased from a Mr. Bennett for $75 in the late 19th century for the purposes of erecting a lighthouse. An additional five acres on the tip of the peninsula was purchased for $150 to allow the lighthouse keeper to raise farm produce to support himself and his family aside from his wages. The lighthouse was lit for the first time on January 1, 1878. It was roughly 183 meters long and 7 meters high, situated just offshore from the southern tip of Blacks Harbour Peninsula. John H. Harding, a marine agent from Saint John, expressed the importance of the location of the lighthouse saying that, because of the regular use of the nearby harbour, two lighthouses (Bliss Island Lighthouse and Pea Island) were necessary. In 1900, the keeper was issued a hand foghorn to be used when fog signals of vessels where heard in the vicinity. A more powerful signal was added in 1929. The lighthouse was manned by nine different keepers from 1877 to 1967.
Today, the building still stands and provides a continuous white light to aid ships in the harbour. The Connors Bros. Nature Preserve at Pea Point was expanded through a donation of the neighbouring parcel by the Wallace Family. Ann Wallace and her husband Ed owned the property adjacent to the Connors Bros. at Pea Point Nature Preserve for many years. Ed’s ancestors previously owned the land, and he inherited it once they died/their relatives scattered. While their sons, John and Dan, were in school, they used to take trips down to Blacks Harbour on the weekends.
Ed passed away in 2016. Their son Dan Wallace donated the preserve to the Nature Trust in July 2016. This generous donation has allowed for safer parking to the nature preserve, and a longer looped trail that meanders through the coastal forest before opening up to the gorgeous vistas of islands scattered throughout the Bay of Fundy.
The ecological diversity and significance of this property is linked to the Fundy tides. The large volume of water passing through the narrow passages in and out of the Bay produce upwellings that move nutrients and organic materials that can support high concentrations of the plankton that many birds and marine mammals feed on. Pea Point is a migratory stopover site for the eastern population of the harlequin duck, a species at risk. The nearby Machias Seal Island is one of the few known nesting spots for the Arctic tern and supports the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the Maritimes. The Quoddy Region has been proposed as a Marine Protected Area because of the large congregation of birds and marine mammals.
Access and Activities
Connors Bros. Nature Preserve at Pea Point can be accessed off Wallace Cove Road in Blacks Harbour, NB. While the lighthouse grounds are open and accessible to the public, the lighthouse tower is closed. Please note that tides of the Bay of Fundy are high and quick. If you decide to visit the Pea Point Island, do so with caution.
*The property is undeveloped and there are a variety of hazards and risks associated with accessing this preserve. While this nature preserve is open for public access, visitors must assume responsibility for their own actions and safety and are to use the land at their own risk.