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Manuel Island, NF  Lighthouse accessible by car and a short, easy walk.   

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Manuel Island Lighthouse

Jacques Cartier’s record of his ten days spent in Catalina Harbour in 1534 makes it clear that the harbour had already received its current name by that time. Fishermen from England, France, and Spain frequented Catalina Harbour in the sixteenth century, and fishing remains the driver of the local economy.

Located on the eastern shore of the Bonavista Peninsula, just south of Bonavista, Catalina Harbour received some notoriety in 1877 when a gigantic squid washed ashore during a storm. Two of the specimen’s tentacles measured nine metres long, and its body was 2.7 by 1.8 metres. The squid was sent to St. John’s for display and was later purchased by the New York Aquarium, which used it to create a model squid for display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Situated just inside Catalina Harbour is Manuel Island, whereon a cylindrical iron lighthouse was established in 1918. The tower’s lantern room was fitted with eight glazed panes and housed a sixth-order lens that beamed forth a red light at a focal plane of 6.2 metres.

In 1938, John Stickley was serving as keeper, and it was his duty to light the kerosene lamp each evening and extinguish it the following morning. The light was solarized and automated in 1960, and John Manuel, the keeper at the time, became the light’s caretaker. Alexander Manuel succeeded him in this capacity in 1963.

Keepers: John Stickley (at least 1938), John Manuel (at least 1960 – 1963), Alexander Manuel (caretaker) (1963 – ).


  1. Journal of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland, various years.
  2. Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1981.

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