Thursday, June 2, 2016

Two Lighthouses

Back ten days ago we drove over to Lake Huron for a day, checking out two lighthouses we had never seen on the Bruce Coast Lighthouse Tour.  It was a beautiful day in late May, and a long drive through prosperous farm country to get there.

The Point Clark Lighthouse is in the small cottage community of Point Clark, north of Goderich and south of Kincardine.  It's one of three on the Bruce Coast tour that is made in this 'imperial tower' style and is one of the oldest on the tour,  There are 13 lighthouses and a museum on the tour altogether.  

I like looking up at the huge cut stone blocks, highlighted by the shadow of the mid-day sun.  This is built of limestone from the Lake Huron shoreline nearby.

The 'lantern' (room with the light in it) at the top still has its glass, and the railing.  The lighthouse is open for tours in the summer, and you can climb the stairs all the way up.  Unfortunately we were too early in the season.

Eventually I found a spot across the road where I could get a picture of the whole lighthouse complex, the keeper's cottage on the left, and a little entry building on the right.  The keeper's cottage is a museum, so I think we may just have to go back in the summer!

About 20 km. to the north is Kincardine, with its unusual lighthouse.  It's located on the banks of the Penetangore River, in downtown Kincardine, and is only one of two lighthouses on the tour where the tower is built extending out of the roof of the lighthouse keeper's home.

 Unfortunely the lantern here has been closed in, by the looks of it with steel sheets.  There is a museum, but again it wasn't open when we were there.

This lighthouse is the only one of the nine that I've seen which is inside the harbour.  In fact it's sort of lost among all the boats in the marina, some distance from the lake.  We drove around to look at it from all sides before we discovered that the large road bridge in the upper right is the best place to view it, where the above two pictures were taken.

But you do get a nice view down the river, past the harbour (on the left), and out into Lake Huron.  Though it was built to serve the fishing and salt industries in the 19th century, no big freighters come in here today!

And at the end of the bridge is this fascinating plaque in honour of 'the Phantom Piper'.  Briefly, the story is that in 1856 a ship nearing town suddenly got in trouble in a storm.  Donald Sinclair, on the ship with his family, got out his bagpipes, and played a lament, hoping that someone onshore would hear them.  Another Scot onshore did hear them, got out his pipes, and played in return.  The captain heard the onshore piper and was able to steer safely into harbour.  For many years Donald went down to the harbour to play his pipes, in gratitude.  And since 1996, the local Kincardine Scottish pipe Band has provided a lone piper to play from the lighthouse balcony on summer evenings, in honour of Donald Sinclair.

Other lighthouses I've posted about include:

But I can see that I didn't focus on the lighthouses so much in those posts, and I need to read a little lighthouse history to be able to tell you more.  Since I shared pictures of two on one of these posts, this covers 7 of the 13; now I need to chase pictures of the remaining lighthouses, most of which are on islands!

Linking to:


  1. Love lighthouses! The two look great preserved as they are.

  2. Oh, yes! I loved the story of the Phantom Piper, and the pictures of the lighthouses. You've got some blog fodder here, FG. There will be at least one fascinated reader (me!). :-)

  3. Was the salt mined since Lake Huron is fresh water? - Margy

  4. I always love to see pics of lighthouses from different areas! Wonderful story about the piper.

  5. There are lots of variations on lighthouse architecture, but that top one is one of only a handful I've seen that actually looks like a lighthouse ought to look, according to the books I read as a child anyway. That's a grand tale about the piper.

  6. A new area for me and you got some very good light house photos. Charming story as well and I wonder if it can be verified.

  7. Fantastic photo's.
    I would love to visit these (if I lived nearer) but your photographs show them to perfection.
    What a brilliant blue sky too.

    All the best Jan

  8. Hello, I love lighthouses. Awesome collection of photos! Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  9. Excellent posting...good shots and good text! Never saw a lighthouse I didn't like...BTW, the one at Point Clark sure looks like it has a slight bend.

  10. Both lighthouses are beautiful. I wonder if the second one's lantern is covered with those sheets during the season, but removed when the building below is open in season.

    If you weren't aware, Owen Sound has a Doors Open weekend tomorrow and Sunday:

  11. 2 beautiful lighthouses!! i am so drawn to them, to the story of how they guide ships home. the comfort they must evoke as a fisherman sees it as he comes in from a long trip at sea. (i'm a bit of a dreamer)!!!

    your images are really spectacular, the perspective and the pretty blue skies!!

  12. such a handsome and tidy place. looks like a wonderful place to wander and enjoy.

  13. Very interesting. You capture the beauty of Oregon so well. I think it's time for an Oregon road trip.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  14. Beautiful lighthouses. Love the first one.

  15. I'm intrigued with lighthouses! A couple great examples here, and I like the big stone blocks used to build the first one.

  16. Beautiful lighthouses and a great tale of the pipers. Thanks for posting the photos and the story.