Lighthouses figured prominently in our summer of the pandemic. We visited a number of them in different parts of Prince Edward Island. While we don’t often visit eastern PEI, lighthouse visits were worth the drive a few hours away to see the shining sentinels.
We visited Cape Bear, on the southeast corner of the island. Built in 1881, the tapered square stands above the cliffs casting its light over the Northumberland Strait.
While we were there, a fishing boat passed nearby, illustrating the need for the light along the coastline in the days when it was established there.
What is unique about this place however is by 1905, another building at this location housed a Marconi wireless telegraph station. This was the first Canadian station to receive a distress signal from the Titanic in April of 1912 after the vessel hit an iceberg on the Grand Banks, off the south coast of Newfoundland. Cape Race in Newfoundland received the first signal but Newfoundland was not part of Canada at that time.
Today the Marconi building is gone but the lighthouse has a museum where one can see the links to this past.
We had a picnic lunch under trees within sight of the cliffs.
Then we drove north along the coast to see the Panmure Head lighthouse.
It was built in 1853, the second built on PEI, a wooden, octagonal structure with a keeper’s house nearby. The light was automated in 1985. The four story structure is now maintained by a local group, as are many of the lighthouses on the island.
In an adjacent field, two horses grazed, unconcerned about the steady stream of visitors nearby.
On the water, recreational craft speeded past or caught the breeze in their sails.
Below along the shoreline, people enjoyed the beach.
For this lighthouse lover, these two were well worth a visit.