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 Cape Croker, ON    
Lighthouse accessible by car and a short, easy walk.
Description: The first Cape Croker Lighthouse, a five-bedroom dwelling with a light tower on its roof, was built in 1898, a few kilometers from the present octagonal tower, which was erected in 1902. This second light was a modern affair, equipped with an electric light, focused by a third-order Fresnel lens, while an electric foghorn operated nearby when needed.

The station was isolated from the rest of the Bruce Peninsula for much of its existence. Keeper Norman Wheeton, who served from 1949 to 1965, spent two years building a road to the lighthouse. Subsequently, he and his wife would arrive at the station each April via this road and depart each December, when the station was closed for the season.

Juanita Bourke, wife of a keeper at Cape Croker, had the following poem published in a Depart of Transport publication for Christmas 1966.

On "The Light" Before Christmas
'Twas ten days before Christmas and all through the night
Snowflakes danced in the rays of Cape Croker's big light.
Santa jingled his bells up at the North Pole
While I scanned the road full of drifts and potholes.

The wilderness road that would take us from here
Had ruts deep enough to gulp Santa's reindeer.
December was up to its usual tricks
And I thought, with a sigh, "We are in a fix!"

I sprang from my chair to view Georgian Bay -
The season's last freighter was passing our way.
There was one thing to do ere the end of the year -
Close up the station and get out of here.

Then in a flash, while the fog-horn did clatter,
I saw just the way to settle the matter.
All it would take- now, what was that word?
What we needed was a whirly-bird!

A 'chopper to sky-lift us over the bluffs
To avoid all the drifts, the potholes and ruts.
Oh for a helicopter, Saint Nicholas, please -
So we can be home for Christmas Eve!

F. Jerome Peroulx was the last keeper at Cape Croker, leaving the station in 1986 after six years of service.

The Coast Guard removed the third-order Fresnel lens from the tower in 2007, as repeated vandalism was threatening its safety. After learning of the removal, the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre immediately entered into negotiations with the Coast Guard to gain custody of the lens. In early 2009, the museum learned it would be receiving the lens, and after a long-term lease agreement was signed, the Coast Guard installed the lens at the museum during the last week of February. The crowd gathered to witness the first official illumination of the lens in the museum stood in awe at the brightness of the light and the kaleidoscope of colors cast on the back nearby walls. The one-story keeper’s dwelling had been removed from the station by 2008.


Information on Cape Croker Lighthouse
History Light Characteristics Focal Height Nominal Range Description/Height of tower above ground
Erected in 1902. Two-second white flash every 4 seconds. 18.7 m. 13 M White octagonal tower, red lantern. 15.9 m.

References

  1. Canadian Lighthouses: From Goderich to Christian Island, Laura M. Gateman, 2006.
  2. "Historic lighthouse lens returns to Bruce County," Patrick Bales, Shoreline Beacon, March 5, 2009.

Location: Located on Cape Croker, which is part of the Chippewa's of Nawash First Nation Community.
Latitude: 44.95595
Longitude: -80.9604

For a larger map of Cape Croker Lighthouse, click the lighthouse in the above map or get a map from: Mapquest.


Travel Instructions: From Highway 6, just north of Wiarton, go east on Bruce Road 9. After 6.1 km (3.8 miles), turn right onto Bruce Road 18. After 5.2 km (3.25 miles), turn left onto Purple Valley Road. After 2.1 km (1.3 miles), turn right onto Coveneys Road. After 3.7 km (2.3 miles), Coveneys Road will become Port Elgin Bay Road. Continue for 3.7 km (2.3 miles) more until you read the water, and the turn left onto Lakeshore Boulevard. Follow this road along the water for 3.5 km (2.2 miles), and when it ends turn left onto Community Centre Road. Take your next right, Pit Road, the the next left, Wilmers Road, and finally your next right, Lighthouse Road, which after 6.7 (4.2 miles) will end at Cape Croker Lighthouse.

The lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.

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Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, used by permission.