Beacons of Light - Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island Virtual Museum of Canada


For centuries, lighthouses have been symbols of hope, safety and refuge. Nowhere is their presence more valued than on Prince Edward Island. Although it is only 224 kilometers from North Cape to East Point, the undulating coastline stretches for 1,760 kilometers. Strategically located along the sandy beaches, or standing sentinel atop high red cliffs, there are approximately forty-five beacons (lighthouses) still guiding mariners away from dangerous reefs and into safe harbours.

During the 19th Century, the Island's waters were very busy. Thousands of immigrants arrived by ship and farm produce and lumber were exported. Shipbuilding became a booming industry with hundreds of sailing vessels being launched from our shores, destined for all parts of the world. Fishing vessels from Europe and the United States fished the rich waters surrounding the Island. With all the marine activity, it was inevitable that numerous shipwrecks occurred with loss of lives and cargoes.

The first lighthouse built on Prince Edward Island was the Point Prim Lighthouse in 1845. Architect Isaac Smith designed the 18.2 m (60 foot) round brick lighthouse that is one of the last of its kind in Canada.

At present there are seven lighthouses on Prince Edward Island open to the public. Visitors can climb right into their Lantern Rooms to view the working light. Four are museums having collections of lighthouse-related artifacts.

Point Prim Lighthouse. 2006. CMAPEI.
Point Prim Lighthouse.
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