Description: Visitors to Prince Edward Island, who choose the ferry service over the Confederation Bridge, get a free view of the Caribou Lighthouse shortly after departing Nova Scotia. The first lighthouse to be built at Caribou Point was established in 1868 and was a combination dwelling and light tower. Alexander Munroe was appointed first keeper of the light in October, 1867. Six lamps set in twelve-inch reflectors were used to produce a white flash every minute.
In the first ten years of the light’s operation, eighteen meters of land were lost from the point. Wooden cribwork, ballasted with rock, was constructed to retard the erosion, but the lighthouse still had to be moved back from the shoreline, and Hugh Henderson of Pictou was paid $525 to relocate the lighthouse.
The second Caribou Lighthouse was built on the point in 1916 under contract to W. Talbot of Pictou at a cost of $5,103.11. This lighthouse consisted of a square dwelling with an octagonal lantern placed atop its hipped roof.
The third Caribou Lighthouse, the one that remains standing today, was constructed around 1971 and features the commonly used design for this time period of a square cement tower positioned in one corner of a one-story, flat-roofed fog alarm building.
Foster Welsh served as keeper of this final lighthouse from its beginning until it was unmanned in 1990.
In 2007, a two-thirds scale model of the 1916 Caribou Lighthouse was constructed by the carpentry students at Nova Scotia Community College in Stellarton using original blueprints and then assembled by members of Air Engineering Flight 114 on a pier in Pictou where it is part of the Northumberland Fisheries Museum. The lighthouse contains information on the life of a lighthouse keeper and is home to Rip E. Irwin’s collection of lighthouse information and photographs.
In October 2016, the one-story portion of Caribou Lighthouse was demolished, leaving just the tower standing. No group expressed interest in the lighthouse when the Canadian Coast Guard was divesting several of its lighthouses in 2012, but a facebook group called Friends of Caribou Island was quickly formed after the partial demolition of the lighthouse to try to save and improve what is left.
Head Keepers: J.A. MacFarlen ( – 1917), Charles H.T. Baird (1917 – 1956), Archibald Baird (1956 – 1959), Charles Walter Richards (1959 – at least 1966).
Located at Caribou Point on the north end of Caribou Island. The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.
The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.
Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, used by permission.