Souris East Lighthouse


Status: Active - Open
GPS Coordinates: 46 20 45.1N 62 14 50.9W
FHBRO Number: 90-265
LOL number: 947
Date Built: 1880

Electrification and De-staffing Dates: Electrification,1961 De-staffed June 16, 1991
Nominal Range: 13 nautical miles
Focal Height: 27.2 meters 89'2" ft
Light: Equal Interval ( IS0 )White light
Flash Pattern: Flash 2 seconds Eclipse 2 seconds
Tower height: 14.1 meters   47" ft

Driving Directions:

North East Shore

Points East Coastal Drive - PEI MAP - B -14

From Route 16 (Main Street) on the eastern side of Souris, turn south on MacPhee Avenue and continue to the harbour. Turn left onto Breakwater Street, which will lead you to the Souris East Lighthouse. The lighthouse is open to visitors during the summer months.


Description:

This major coastal light guides the ferry between Souris and the Magdalen Islands, as well as other vessels.

The square tapered tower, clad in wooden shingles, stands 45 ' base to vane. It has three flights of stairs leading to the unique shaped cylindrical tall lantern which is completely surrounding by glass windows. This lantern was made by the Chance Brothers of Birmingham, England.

The lantern deck is surrounded by a metal railing which has been raised to meet safety regulation to allow visitors to go out on the deck. It is supported by an ornate wooden bracketed cornice attached to the broad fascia. The windows on the top floor have a shed style roof over them while the lower levels have pediments over the windows and door.

The door to the lantern deck is higher than most, which allows easier access to the lantern deck for maintenance or glass cleaning. Most other lighthouses on PEI have lantern doors approx. 30 inches high.

For many years, three of the panels facing inland were covered over with a thick coat of paint that prevented the light from flashing on houses along that side. In 2009, this paint was removed except a small portion that displays a white Canadian Maple Leaf on a red background.

The tower houses an collection of pictures, equipment and the 4th order bull's eye lens which was returned to the tower in 2011.  A number of other Island lighthouses have weight shafts in place, but Souris has the only complete weight system. The keeper had to climb the tower every 3 hours and 15 minutes to rewind the mechanism which rotated the light. There is also an extensive collection of seaglass.  


Historic Data:

Souris, North Cape and Cape Egmont are the only three lighthouses on Prince Edward Island that have telecommunications equipment which directs air and sea traffic throughout the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The  wooden tower was constructed in 1880 and an attached dwelling was built in 1881. An oil shed was built in 1911. A pump house was added about 1947. In 1951 the old barn was torn down. A storage shed was added prior to 1957. The dwelling was detached in 1959 and moved from the site. The new dwelling which was built in 1959 was written off in July, 1991, and removed.The size of the site was increased over the years from a plot measuring 85 feet by 45 feet to 0.87 of an acre by 1957.

  A fog alarm building was erected on the breakwater, off the site, in 1955, but the fog alarm was later transferred to the shed on the property during  the 1980's. All fog alarms were discontinued on PEI about 2000.

One of the first mercury vapour lamps used by the Canadian Coast Guard was installed here in 1961. This experiment was so successful that it became the standard for All Canadian Lighthouses.

For many years the buildings were surrounded by a high metal fence which was removed when the property was transferred to the Souris Harbour Authority in 2009.

The site today includes the tower and a new building which houses a gift shop and washrooms.

          

 


Keepers:

Angus McDonald               1880 – 1905
J. D. Lavie                                  1905 – 1913
George N. McDonald       1913 - ?
B. Bushey                                  1913 – 1920
M. Frank McIntosh            1920 – 1935
Andrew McIntosh                1935 – 1939
George Campbell                 1939 – 1956
Donald G. Osborne             1956 – 1974
Francis McIntosh              1974 – 1991

Francis McIntosh, who retired June 16, 1991, was the Island’s last lightkeeper. He has provided invaluable information to the current lighthouse operators. He lives nearby and is a frequent visitor at the lighthouse.


Current Owners/ Operators:

The Lighthouse was transferred to the Souris Harbour Authority in 2009.


Special Events/Activities:

During the winter of 2011-12, a new building was constructed, which houses the Souris by the Sea Treasures Gift Shop and washroom facilities.

Special Action

Souris East Lighthouse was recognized as a heritage place under the Prince Edward Island Heritage Places Protection Act on November 1 , 2011.

Special Event

On September 25th 2013, the Souris East Lighthouse was awarded a Provincial Designated Heritage Place plaque and certificate from the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture, Robert Henderson.

Left to Right

Eric Gallent; President of the PEI Lighthouse Society and the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture, Robert Henderson.

Photo Credit: Brian Simpson, Provincial Photographer.


Other:

www.sourisharbourauthority.com/harbour-authority/historic-lighthouse/

Last Updated: January 16, 2014