Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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MCLENNAN, KENNETH ROSS, lighthouse keeper; b. Chatham, 13 Sep 1864, s/o Alexander McLennan and Jane Armstrong; m. 1891, Jane Wilson, d/o Robert Wilson and Jessie McKnight, of Napan; d. Chatham, 8 Nov 1941.

As a young man, Kenneth R. McLennan followed the sea. In November 1884 he was a member of the crew of the schooner Vigilant, which was sailing from Bathurst to Boston with a cargo of laths when she was blown off course and wrecked near Tabusintac Beach. Three of the ten men on board died in the disaster, and McLennan permanently damaged his right hand by clinging to a rope most of the night.

A skilled steam engineer, McLennan was later employed for short periods with the Canada Eastern Railway and with one or more lines in the United States. He also worked at the Maritime Sulphite Fibre Co. pulp mill in Chatham. His most important job, however, was as keeper of the Point Escuminac lighthouse, and as the "genial and thoughtful host" to the "thousands of visitors from all parts of North America" who came to see the light and fog alarm system at the Point. He was employed as keeper and engineer of the fog whistle for forty-seven years. In 1940, after he had retired, he was the guest of honor at a public reception, at which he was presented with the Imperial Service Medal.

McLennan was survived in 1941 by his wife, Jane Wilson, four daughters, and three sons. Brothers who outlived him were Albert McLennan, who established McLennan's Carriage and Sleigh Factory at Chatham, and later the North Shore Motors car dealership; John McLennan, proprietor of the Miramichi Foundry & Machine Co. Ltd, which he took over from the Miller interests; and Henry MacLennan, owner of the MacLennan Foundry & Machine Works at Campbellton.


[b] church records [m] Advocate 11 Nov 1891 [d] Commercial World 13 Nov 1941 / Advance 17 Dec 1891; Commercial World 21 Feb 1946, 25 Mar 1954, 12 Apr 1956; Gleaner 8 Sep 1866 (Wilson/McKnight marriage); Leader 4 Mar 1965, 31 Mar 1993; official records (parents' marriage); World 12 Nov 1884