Travel Photo Thursday — Mar.19/14 — A Peggy’s Cove Legacy

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Canada, Destinations, Featured, Nova Scotia, Travel Photo Thursday | 20 comments

Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday (our 169th!). Spring seems to have sprung here in Daejeon, double digit temps for the past few days! Today I spotted some magnolia blossoms. We’ll have gorgeous flowers blanketing the city soon! This time of the year always has me thinking of home, and how we anticipate the coming of spring and summer after a long cold Nova Scotia winter. My shots today come from Peggy’s Cove, and a legacy left by painter and sculptor Andrew de Garthe.

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 Most visitors come to Peggy’s Cove to see the famous lighthouse, and  walk on the rocks. With any luck, the Atlantic waves will be crashing. If you look to the right just shortly after turning onto the narrow windy village road leading to the lighthouse and the rocks, you will see a humongous piece of granite. That was deGarthe’s back yard. In the 1970s  he decided to carve a monument into that 100 foot outcropping to honor Nova Scotia fisherman and their families. He was able to finish approximately half of the sculpture before he died; 32 fishermen, their wives and children, St. Elmo with wings spread, and the legendary Peggy of Peggy’s Cove.

His plan on paper….

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While De Garthe’s passing did bring an end to his ambitious endeavor  what he did complete is impressive, and people flock to see his stone monument with its intricate detail and the raw emotion he conveyed.

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He captures their hard working lives so eloquently through their expressive faces, and strong bodies…


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St. Elmo, the patron saint of fisherman…

St. Elmos, the patron saint of fisherman

St. Elmos, the patron saint of fisherman


Traveler’s Tip

The area is accessible all year round, and there is no charge to view the monument, or the lighthouse. His former home is an art gallery. However, when I was there last summer, it was closed. Sadly, it looked to be abandoned. 

Peggy’s Cove is a quick 40 minute drive from Halifax. Although you may find yourself stopping along the way to take photos of the gorgeous ocean views. Check out this website for directions and other useful information…Peggy’s Cove Coastal Region.


This is the 169th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.

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  1. What a wonderful legacy to leave, and as you say the emotions that sing out from the characters, although cast in stone, are quite life-like. I love lighthouses, so I would definitely go and visit that too!

    • Hi Johanna! I don’t think anyone goes to Peggy’s without visiting the lighthouse! 🙂

  2. Hi Nancie, what an incredible tribute to the fishermen and families of Nova Scotia. The figures are very life like and It truly conveyed the spirit of hardwork and sense of community. De Garthe did an impressive work and left a wonderful legacy.
    I’m so glad that you’re seeing signs of Spring around you. Enjoy them.I hope we get to see some soon.

    • Hi Marisol,

      It’s a tribute that will be there well into the foreseeable future! Spring was teasing yesterday. Today it’s freezing!

  3. Wow, it’s a shame that it looked abandoned when you were there, Nancie. Wonder if the province could take it over and maintain it. All that hard work. Very impressive.

    • Hi Marcia,

      The monument is well cared for (and probably by the province). I’m really not sure what was up with the gallery being closed down.

  4. I like that De Garthe not only used the material he had on hand but that he left it exactly where nature created it. I wonder if he only worked when the weather was good or did he persevere with his carvings throughout the winter. What a wonderful way to commemorate the hard working people of Nova Scotia.

  5. wow, amazing sculpture and legacy. Thank you for showing it to us.
    Enjoy the beginning of spring.

    • Hi Jill! I can only imagine the work and dedication that went into creating this!

  6. Nancie, I am always so amazed at the vision of artists. I’d look at a piece of stone and never in a million years be able to conceive the imagery that could be carved there in such a beautiful tribute. A most interesting post — great photos!

    • Hi Jackie, and thanks! I know what you mean. I could not imagine sculpting something like this in a million years!

  7. It’s quite incredible that you can get such a strong sense of strength and fortitude of the fishermen from the carving. Carving this in stone certainly contributes to that feeling but I do love the faces, the fishermen’s different stances and the movement that deGarthe has portrayed!

    • Hi Jenny! I don’t know about you, but I almost expect them to start breathing! 🙂

  8. I was in Peggy’s cove last June and admired this carved piece of rock. I also admired the dedication of DeGarthe as that rock is hard and not the easiest material to work with. I think his monument will stand the test of time and will be there centuries from now.

    • Hi Leigh! I remember you being at Peggy’s last year. Yes, I think granite is one of the hardest rocks around. Halifax and the surrounding areas (like Peggy’s) are built on granite. Building anything can be tough. That monument will definitely out live all of us!

  9. What an amazing legacy. He must have went through a lots of chisels.

    • Hi Jan! Yes, I can only imagine! 🙂

  10. What a remarkable monument! Those expressive faces are haunting and yet so full of emotion. I’m glad he was able to finish half of it. I can only imagine the impact this had when it was unveiled.

    • Hi Mary! It would have been interesting and exciting to be there when it was unveiled. That was a long time ago.

  11. Oh I never realized there was a saint for fishermen, very cool! What a special tribute.


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