LIGHTHOUSE – Joan
Lighthouses are an iconic part of Canada. They exist not only in the Maritimes but in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.
This lighthouse was fashioned after Peggy`s Cove built in Nova Scotia, my home province, in 1868. The front is left open so that you can view the working and living quarters within.
The first lighthouses were simply bonfires on a land point signalling harbour entrances. They were replaced by towers with beacons illuminated by candles, progressing to oil lamps, kerosene lamps and to the current electrification. An apparatus was attached to the light to produce a different pattern of flashes to identify each lighthouse.
Duties of the lighthouse keeper included the traditional “keeping of the light“, maintaining radio communications and beacons, tending fog alarms and providing rescue service and sanctuary. Today, automation has replaced the traditional lighthouse keeper. The man living with his family at a light house station in a remote place has been replaced by a helicopter and a travelling technician.
Many of the structures are being destroyed because, although they played an important role in our history, they are too costly to maintain. Today in Canada, there are 750 lighthouse structures. Some are still navigational aids, while others have been turned in to museums and tourist sights.