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Lighthouse Station

The use of the Fort as a place for fortification of Trinity Harbour was abandoned and it later became the location for a navigational aid for the area when a lighthouse, and most likely fog horn, was installed on the point in 1871. The Scottish Firm of D & T Stevenson was contracted to build the structure and received $3,156.00 to complete the project. Upon completion the following notice was published for mariners.

"On and after 1st January 1874, a fixed white light will be exhibited nightly from sunset to sunrise at this place upon a wooden towere painted white, and at a height of 75 feet above the level of the sea, and it should be visible in clear weather for eleven miles. The erection is situated in 48 degrees 21' 55" North Latitude, and 53 degrees 26' 54" West Longitude. The apparatus is diptric of the 8th order, with a single argand burner, and illuminating an arc of the horizon of 320 degrees. In entering the harbour the Light must be kept on the port hand."

First lighthouse at Fort Point

This was the first Lighthouse to be constructed at Fort Point with work beginning in 1871. 

The lighthouse that was constructed in 1921 is referred to as a “White cylindrical Iron Tower attached to the base of the earlier tower” so it would seem that the original tower itself was replaced, which probably meant an upgrade in lighting system.

Lighthouse at Fort Point in 1921

The 1921 Lighthouse at Fort Point was made from cast iron and stood in place until June 25, 1971

At the end of November 1938 the Schooner Marion Rogers sank just outside of Fort Point Lighthouse, Trinity with all souls onboard being lost to the sea. The vessel was locally owned and on the night she was lost seven men from the area were drowned in what has been referred to as the Mouth of the Horn, in reference to the entrance to Trinity Harbour. The schooner was on her way back to Trinity from St. John’s and mere feet away from arriving safely when she struck the rocks off Fort Point.

A Magisterial Enquiry was held into the cause of the incident. For more detailed information visit the virtual exhibit www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com and click on the link Marion Rogers.

The current installation at Fort Point is a modern steel skeletal tower which was installed c. the 1980s, but to retain historical accuracy the skeletal tower was covered by a wooden faux front which makes it more ascetically pleasing and appear historically correct when viewing the structure from Trinity.

Steel tower lighthouse built in the 1980's

The automated light at Fort Point was erected in the 1980s and after some petitioning it was enclosed with wooden clapboard in 2003. Its light flashes white every five seconds and has a range of fifteen nautical miles.

Fort Point Lighthouse is currently operated and maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard and is 26 ft high, it is a white pyramidal tower with red trim. The date given to this tower is 2003, which is most likely the date of the construction of the outer shell to make it historically correct. It is still a current active aid to navigation, due to the tricky entrance to Trinity harbour, and is actually one of the few lighthouses in Canada which is still actively manned by a Keeper, although on a seasonal basis.  Its characteristic range is a white light that flashes every 5 seconds, with a range of fifteen nautical miles, the duration of flashes makes is a nighttime indicator of what lighthouse a vessel is located next to, the tone and duration of a fog horn is similarly indicated, the current horn has a two second blast every 20 seconds.

Current lighthouse at Fort Point 

This was the fourth building to stand on the site over the years to be a navigational beacon and aid to mariners entering Trinity Harbour.  

The military fortification site and its archaeology resources are a registered Provincial Historic Site with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador while the former Light House Keeper’s Home is owned by the Town of Trinity and operated as an Interpretation Centre by Trinity Historical Society.   

 
       

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