Beacons of Light - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island Virtual Museum of Canada
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Wood Islands Lighthouse History

Wood Islands, once known as Port Woods, was so named by the settlers because there was nothing but woods in the area when they arrived. The site of the Wood Islands Lighthouse was called Young’s Island. It was accessible by boat, which the keeper had to supply, or a long route through fields and beach. The present road was built with material dredged from the harbour between 1937-1940 in preparation for the Wood Islands Ferries.

The lighthouse was built on a site 60.9 m by 66.4 m (200 feet by 218 feet) purchased from Thomas McMahon and his wife on June 1, 1875. The lighthouse was established to aid marine traffic and fishing boats in the Northumberland Strait between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

In the early years of settlement a fortnightly mail run between Wood Islands and Pictou, Nova Scotia, had been the Island’s only winter link with the mainland. In 1775, Governor Walter Patterson initiated the iceboat service across the 22.5 km (14 miles) to Caribou, Nova Scotia. Later the service moved to the 14.4 km (9 mile) crossing between Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick, and Cape Travers, Prince Edward Island.

View of harbour and roadway.  1998.  Carol Livingstone.
View of harbour and roadway.
Wood Islands Lighthouse slideshow
Ice Boats carried mail and passengers. Circa 1800.  Wood Islands Lighthouse.
Ice boats carried mail and passengers.
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