Basin Head Provincial Park, Beach & Fisheries Museum
Member - Island East Tourism Group
The East Point Lighthouse, built in 1867, was one of the busiest aids to navigation for the deep-sea traffic, inshore and off-shore fishery. The history of shipwrecks off the coast proves this area as being one of the most difficult to navigate, due to the three reefs and the "meeting of the tides" off East Point. The Atlantic Ocean, Northumberland Strait, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence are the three tides that meet at this most easterly point.
In 1882, the British warship "HMS Phoenix" was shipwrecked off East Point, due in part to the location of the lighthouse. Captain Grenfell's charts placed the lighthouse at the tip of East Point, when it had actually been built a half-mile further down the coast. For navigators relying on the light at night, this would have been enough to turn a close but safe course around the reef into a trip right onto the rocks. The "Phoenix" was certainly not the first vessel to discover this, but it was the most famous. A year later, the lighthouse was moved to match its' location on the maritime charts. In 1908, due to erosion, the lighthouse was moved again to it's present site, using horses and a capstan. The light station consisted of the lighthouse, fog alarm, radio, beacon station, and an oil shed. In 1885 an addition was built onto the fog alarm, and in 1965 a dwelling was
constructed on the site.
The light was put into operation during the winter months of 1940-1945, and used as an aid to the local flying schools. The East Point Lighthouse, following a trend set by Government, was automated in 1989, and has been run using electricity ever since. An interesting fact: all five of the lighthouse keepers who took care of this light have all passed away, and all are buried in the same graveyard!
The East Point Lighthouse is now open to the public for tours, with an easy climb up the five flights of winding stairs. This white octagonal tower is one of the most visited and photographed sites in the region, with the
distinction of being situated at the most easterly point of land on Prince Edward Island, and boasting a view from the top that is truly breathtaking.
Take a self-guided tour to the top of this working lighthouse, the view is fantastic! Open June through September, every day. Fees are $5 adult, $4 age 55 & up, $3 student, $2 child, under 2 free, family package $15 (includes 2 adults and 2 children. Prices do not reflets HST. Official PEI Welcome Centre.
It measures 64' tall, and the co-ordinates are Lat. 46.4517555 Lon. -61.971474.
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