FBBRO # 90-264
LOL # 983
POSITION 46 03 01.2 N 63 02 20.7 W southeast extremity of Hillsborough Bay, near the point
LIGHT White: flash, 1 second; eclipse, 4 seconds
FOCAL POINT 20.7 m (68 ft)
TOWER HEIGHT 18.3 m (60 ft)
NOMINAL RANGE 32.1 km (20 miles)
Point Prim was the first lighthouse built on Prince Edward Island. Because of its age, unique architecture, and the fact that it is virtually unchanged from its original state, the Federal Heritage Building Review Board has awarded it the designation of “Classified”. It is the only lighthouse on the Island to have that designation, which is the highest level awarded.
The 14.9 m (49 foot) circular tower is built of local brick. Originally
the red brick was visible from the exterior, but the soft Island brick
and mortar weathered quickly, so by 1847 the tower was boarded and
shingled. It is 7 m (23 feet) in diameter at the base and has a top
diameter of 3.3 m (11 feet), which gives a graceful taper to the structure.
There are three landings in the tower below the lantern deck connected
by straight flights of stairs. The wooden weight shaft runs through
the center of the tower from top to bottom. It is no longer in use.
Square cut nails were used in the construction of the lighthouse.
The polygonal cast iron lantern was installed in 1882. It is 3 m (10 feet) in diameter and 3.9 m (13 feet) in height. There are ten glazed panels, each 76.2 cm (30 inches) by 152.4 cm (60 inches). The optic is old but is not considered to be the original. It is thought to be pre-1900 and of French design. It is a 4th order bulls-eye Fresnel lens. The lantern is supported by decorative wooden brackets.
The lighthouse was kept open in winter from 1942-45 to aid in night flying for the air crews who were part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Base at Mount Pleasant, PEI.
The lighthouse is open during the summer months. It is leased by the Belfast Development Corporation and operated by the Point Prim/ Mount Buchans’ Women’s Institute. One of the interesting artefacts on display is an old fashioned fog alarm that is still in working order.