In this week’s episode, Huronia Museum curator Jamie Hunter discusses the important role of lighthouses on Georgian Bay and showcases one of the museum’s most unique items, the Lonely Island Lighthouse fresnel.
150th Birthday Celebration Christian Island Lighthouse
BY: Bill Ashby HLPS
The Huronia Lightstation Preservation Society (HLPS) a division of the Huronia Museum Midland Ontario, conducted a special 150 yr celebration of The Christian Island Lighthouse
Over one hundred people attended the event including Chief Rodney Monague Jr. of Beausoleil First Nation, Christian Island. Rodney and family and many others took time to climb to the top of the lighthouse. The inside of Lighthouse is not normally open to the public but HLPS was able to get special permission from The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), to allow the public inside. The climb was not for the faint of heart. The inside is a very tight space and participants faced a challenging ladder climb. Everyone who completed the climb, when asked stated “the view from the top was worth the difficult climb.”
A commemorative plaque was unveiled by Dave Maynard, HLPS President.
“Christian Island Lighthouse
The first of the “Imperial Tower” lighthouses to be completed and the first official lighthouse on Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. Constructed in 1867. it was one of 6 similar lighthouses commissioned by the province of Canada West. These lights were strategically positioned to mark the busy yet treacherous trade routes that had become established on the bay. The lighthouse and the keeper’s residence were contracted to stone mason John Brown of Thorold Ontario. Brown was renowned for his fine workmanship, winning medals for innovation in plaster and cement at the 1855 Paris World’s fair.
The light was built upon a timber crib and stands 55′ in height to the focal plane. Its walls are constructed of hand faced limestone 6 feet thick at the ground level. The stone was quarried from the nearby Niagara Escarpment and delivered to the site by sailing vessels, several of which were lost to severe weather before reaching their destination.The original lantern room was designed and fabricated by the Louis Sautter Company of Paris France and housed a state of the art Argand lamp fixed within a 4th order Fresnel Lens.
ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE
THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS COMPLETION
AUGUST 25TH 2007
HURONIA LIGHTSTATION PRESERVATION SOCIETY”