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Harbour Island (Penguin Islands), NF  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Harbour Island (Penguin Islands) Lighthouse

The Penguin Islands are a cluster of islands and sea stacks located twenty kilometres off the south coast of Newfoundland and thirty-four kilometres southeast of Ramea.

Work began in 1913 on a fog alarm station on the highest point of Harbour Island, one of the western islands in the group. The station buildings, which consisted of three buildings that served as an engine house, a keeper’s dwelling, and a storehouse, all painted in black and white vertical stripes, were completed in 1914, and the needed machinery was installed in 1915.

The diaphone fog alarm, which gave a group of two blasts every ninety seconds thus: two-second blast, ten seconds of silence, another two-second blast, and then seventy-six seconds of silence was established in 1915, and then later that year, a light, a white flash every ten seconds, commenced operation from a lantern room on the engine house.

According to the 1935 census, forty-six-year-old Charleas Barter was living at the station with his wife Lavinia and seven children and serving as the head keeper, while twenty-six-year-old Jeremiah Fudge was serving as the assistant keeper and had his mother living with him. In 1945, Jeremiah Fudge, who by this time had married Elizabeth and had three children under the age of nine, was the head keeper and still had his seventy-three-year-old mother living with him on the island. George B. Monster was the assistant keeper in 1945.

Roland Durnford was in charge of the station on Harbour Island in 2001 when it was destaffed. He recalls that there are five graves on the island: four of shipwreck victims and one the son of a lighthouse keeper, and that George Keeping was one of the early keepers.

In 2021, a square, skeletal tower, with a red square daymark that had a white horizontal stripe, was displaying a flashing white light with a period of ten seconds from Harbour Island.

Keepers: Charles Barter (at least 1935), Jeremiah Fudge (at least 1945), Roland V. Durnford ( – 2001).

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Pictures on this page copyright Canadian Coast Guard, Roland Durnford, used by permission.
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