Today the Little Channel, or Hardy’s Channel Lighthouse, is located at the end of a long private road. The best public views of the lighthouse are from across the inlet from Howard’s Cove Seafood Ltd. Like many of our lighthouses, it has been decommissioned and has gained new life as a private residence. It’s a square tapered tower, 30 feet in height, attached to a two-storey dwelling. It has retained the lighthouse appearance with its shingled exterior and shed-style roof over narrow windows.
Originally, Hardy’s Channel Lighthouse was established on the recommendation of shipbuilder James Yeo. There was heavy marine traffic, due to the nearby ship yards and fish factories, through a series of three long sandy islands from Alberton to Malpeque. These are known locally as the ‘Sandhills’. The only passage through the Sandhills south of Cascumpec Bay is Hardy’s Channel, which is guided by Little Channel Lighthouse and Little Channel Back Range. On August 20, 1877, two range light towers were first lit. The front range was a 6.1 meter (20 foot) open skeleton tower. The back range, generally known as the Hardy’s Channel Lighthouse, was a square 9.1 meter (30 foot) tower. They were 60.3 meters (198 feet) apart. Automated in April 1947, Hardy’s Channel Lighthouse was purchased as a residence in 1972 and moved to Freeland.
The first lighthouse tender was William Hardy, who owned a lobster factory on the Sandhills. He would row over at dusk to hoist the lights and back at dawn to take them down. After William Hardy, who was keeper for almost 50 years, his son Ernest took over keeping the lighthouse and then Ernest’s son Everett after him.