Range Lights

There are 40 (20 pairs) of range lights in the PEI lighthouse family.  Each pair of range lights includes a front range and a rear range and mark the entrance to a harbour.  Range lights were used by boat captains to pilot their craft safely into harbour by visually lining up the front and rear range lights to get their heading.  For this reason, the front range is typically shorter and the rear range is taller. Range lights often have a vertical red stripe on them as day marks to help the pilot visually line up the pair of lights to find their heading.

One range light – Leard’s Front Range in Victoria-by-the-Sea has been converted to the Victoria Seaport Museum.

Summerside Back Range Light


This range light is a tall square tapered tower clad in shingles. It was increased in height in 1916 by extending the upper portion and lantern with straight walls. It has vertically banked paired windows on the west side. They have shed dormers over them. The day mark is a vertical red stripe extending from the lantern to the bottom of second windows on the seaward side. The gallery is supported by metal brackets which extend from the walls to become part of the metal railing. This is the only lighthouse on PEI which has this type of gallery supports. The railing extends around the tower except on the westward side where it is interrupted so it will not interfere with the light. The interior of the tower is unfinished. and was never divided into floors. The stairs have several platforms where the keeper could rest while carrying the oil to the top.

Driving Directions:

north cape coastal drive logo 100x100

North Cape Coastal Drive - From Route 2 turn onto Water Street at Reads Corner. Turn left at the intersection with lights at MacEwan Road and Glover Shore Road. Turn onto Glover Shore Road and you will see it a short distance away on your right.

GPS Coordinates: 46 23 14.4N 63 47 21.2W 072 Degrees 04 1436.3 metres from front range.

Technical Data
  • Status: Active
  • FHBRO Number: 90-135
  • LOL number: 1022
  • Date Built: 1904
  • Electrification and De-staffing Dates: De - staffed in 1961
  • Nominal Range: 18 NAUTICAL MILES
  • Focal Height: 24.8m, 81'4 "
  • Light: Fixed Green
  • Flash Pattern: Light is fixed green
  • Tower height: 20.1m, 66'
Historic Data

The Summerside Harbour needed lights to assist the mail and passenger steamer Northumberland and other vessels entering this harbour. A single light was attached to the freight house on the railway wharf. It opened on October 22, 1877 with Patrick McVeigh as the keeper.

"In 1895, the large ferry steamers that operated between Summerside and Nova Scotia were finding it hard to locate the entrance to the harbour at night, so the back range light recommended almost two decades earlier was finally constructed and placed in operation. When built, the back range tower was a square, pyramidal, open-frame structure with its seaward face boarded and painted white to serve as a day beacon. This tower, located on the farm of John and George Stavert, roughly a mile southeast of the railway wharf light, stood 17 metres (56 feet) high from the its base to the weather vane on top of its square, red lantern. The front light was changed in colour from fixed white to fixed red on the range line and fixed white over the head of the wharf.

The following is a quote from a report prepared for the City of Summerside to have this range light recognized as a place of historical significance:

" The farmland purchased from John and George Stavert lay between lands owned byJohn Stavert, and Thomas Glover, on the west side for he road now known as Glover's Shore Road. One of the conditions of sale was that the Staverts and their heirs would not "erect or suffer to be erected... any erection or thing whatsoever which shall or may... obstruct or hinder a light now erected... or hereafter erected or placed upon the premises... from being seen from the place where the lighthouse now stands which is erected on the outer end of the railway wharf at Summerside."

The Summerside Back Range Light was built at a cost of $225. by Milton Walsh and was put in operation on September 5, 1895. John and George Stavart were paid $35 for the 3,600 square feet of farmland on which the tower was erected. The light successfully fulfilled its purpose, as the captain of the mail and passenger steamer Northumberland stated that he could bring his vessel into the harbour at full speed irrespective of the condition of the night. The Indian Head Lighthouse had been established in 1881 to guide vessels to the entrance of Summerside Harbour, from where the new range lights could be used to guide vessels to anchorage off Holman’s Wharf. Taken from lighthousefriends.com by Kraig Anderson.

The range light was originally an open frame surmounted by a square wooden lantern. It was enclosed in 1904. In 1913, the range was moved 50 feet south of its original location to its present location. The height was raised in 1916.


Lighthouse Keepers

1895-1909 - George Stevart

1909-1912 - George W. Bell

1912–19?? - Fred Muttart

1935-1961 - Albert E. Ferguson

Current Owners/ Operators:

This range is owned by the Government of Canada. The City of Summerside has put in a petition for ownership to the Parks Canada Heritage Lighthouse Program.

Special Event:

On December 4, 2007 the City of Summerside recognized the Summerside Back Range Light as place of historical significance.