|Georgetown Range Front, PE|
Description: Georgetown, the county seat of Kings County, is situated on the southeast part of Cardigan Point, a peninsula bounded by the Brudenell and Montague Rivers on the south and the Cardigan River on the north. Early French settlers called the area Three Rivers, but after the English gained control of Acadia, Cardigan Point was surveyed in 1768 as the site for Georgetown, named after King George III.
The deepwater harbour at Georgetown, which remained ice-free for most of the winter, was one of the most important ports on Prince Edward Island. Steamships linked Georgetown to Pictou, where connections to the Intercolonial Railway were possible. Georgetown was also the eastern terminus of the Prince Edward Island Railway that also included stations at Charlottetown, Summerside, and Alberton.
A rear or inner range light was established on a mast in 1883 to work in tandem with the beacon on St. Andrew’s Point to indicate the proper line for approaching the harbour. Roger Westaway was appointed the first keeper of the inner range light while Joseph Wightman was still serving as caretaker of the light on St. Andrew’s Point at that time.
In 1891, the mast that had been placed on Westaway’s farm to serve as the inner range light was replaced by a square wooden tower, painted white and surmounted by a galvanized iron lantern. The tower is 14 metres (46 feet) tall from its base to the vane on its lantern and displays a fixed-white light at an elevation of 19 metres (62 feet) above the high water mark. The site for and right-of-way to the inner range light were acquired in 1894 at a cost of $150.
The lighthouse on St. Andrew’s Point was completely destroyed by fire in October, 1894, and a new tower, 10.4 metres (34 feet) tall, was built the following year by Edward Maher, under a contract for $357 with $12 being allowed for “small extras.” The lantern for the tower was constructed of sixteen gauge galvanized sheet iron by Milton Walsh, foreman of works and general repairs for the Department on Marine and Fisheries on Prince Edward Island. This new lighthouse consisted of a square, white dwelling with a red lantern centered on its pyramidal roof, and the St. Lawrence Pilot noted in 1917 that the structure had a black stripe on its front face. According to this same publication, the rear tower also had a vertical black stripe on its seaward face and was located 640 metres (700 yards) at 279 ° from the front light.
Eli George Vatcher was serving as keeper of the front light when World War II broke out. Though he was in his forties, Eli enlisted and served in France and Belgium before returning and resuming his lightkeeping duties in 1945. Eli was still serving as keeper when the range lights were electrified in 1960, and he subsequently served as caretaker of the lights at a greatly reduced salary.
The present front range light, a cylindrical tower 7.1 metres (23.4 feet) tall with red and white bands, dates from 1969, which is when the previous lighthouse was discontinued. The historic 1895 lighthouse is privately owned and houses a small apartment. The rear range lighthouse now has a vertical red stripe on its seaward face.
Located on St. Andrew's Point, alongside St. Andrews Point Road marking the entrance to Georgetown Harbour. The modern lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. The former front lighthouse is privately owned. Grounds/towers closed.
The modern lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. The former front lighthouse is privately owned. Grounds/towers closed.
Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, used by permission.