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Cape Pine Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada

Cape Pine, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1974/05/18

View of Cape Pine Lighthouse, showing the form and massing of the 15.3 metre high structure which consists of a tall, tapered tower with twelve-sided lantern.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency.
General view
View of the Cape Pine Lighthouse, showing the smooth, painted finish of the exterior walls with its distinguishing colour scheme of alternating white and red, 1990.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1990.
General view
View of Cape Pine Lighthouse, showing l’emplacement très visible sur un cap accidenté, 1944.; Aviation royale du Canada / Royal Canadian Air Force, 1944.
Aerial View

Other Name(s)

Cape Pine Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada
Cape Pine Lighthouse
Phare du cap-Pine

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1851/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/11/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Cape Pine Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada stands high on the most southerly promontory of Newfoundland between Trepassey and Saint Mary’s bays. The cast-iron tower is a smooth, tapered cylinder pierced by small, square windows as it rises to a wide gallery with railing and lantern. The lighthouse stands amongst ancillary buildings and a communications tower. Its strategic location makes it highly visible to maritime traffic. The official recognition refers to the lighthouse on its legal property.

Heritage Value

Cape Pine Lighthouse was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1974 because:
- it was the first landfall light built on the dangerous south coast of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula to guide shipping through the Cabot Straight to the St. Lawrence River;
- it is one of the oldest lighthouses in Canada, and;
- it was the first application in Newfoundland of the technology using prefabricated cast-iron components in the construction of lighthouse towers.

The heritage value of this site resides in the physical presence of the lighthouse as witness to the achievement of early pre-fabrication, transportation and construction on a rugged site. Built in 1851 to guide trans-Atlantic shipping, the Cape Pine Lighthouse also illustrates the early improvement of aids to navigation on the east coast of Canada. The lighthouse was the first of a series of prefabricated iron structures erected in Newfoundland in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Designed by Alexander Gordon, it represents a pioneering and carefully executed instance of maritime design and engineering in Canada.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1973.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- the highly visible location on a rugged cape;
- the unimpeded viewscapes;
- the maritime coastal setting at the edge of a busy seaway;
- the cast-iron construction;
- the form and massing of the 15.3 metre high structure which consists of a tall, tapered tower with twelve-sided lantern;
- the wide exterior gallery with railing supported by iron brackets;
- the small square windows and single narrow door;
- the 3 metres high concrete casing around the base of the tower;
- the smooth, painted finish of the exterior walls with its distinguishing colour scheme of alternating white and red.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1974/05/18

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering
Developing Economies
Labour
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Transport-Water
Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Historic

Architect / Designer

Alexander Gordon

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

217

Status

Published

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Exterior Photo

Cape Pine Lighthouse Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Cape Pine Lighthouse, located on a remote, rocky site, is a massive, tapered, cast-iron tower painted in wide horizontal bands of red and white. Each band of colour is pierced by…

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