Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located down a secluded red clay road in southeastern Prince Edward Island in Kings County, the Cape Bear Lighthouse is a three storey tapered wooden tower with an iron lantern. As with most lighthouses on the Island, the tower is clad in wooden shingles and painted white. The lantern and the railing around the top observation deck are both painted red.
The Cape Bear Lighthouse is valued for its well preserved architecture; its association with the early history of telegraph communication in PEI, and for its contribution to the community of Beach Point.
Built in 1881, the lighthouse filled an important role in supporting the local fishing industry. The original lighthouse contained an attached dwelling house for the keeper, however, this was removed in 1960. In 1947, the structure had to be moved back because of shoreline erosion.
The Department of Marine and Fisheries established a Marconi Wireless Telegraph station near the lighthouse in 1906. It was one of seven on the Island intended to communicate with the government's ice-breaking steamers, the "Stanley" and the "Minto" which operated between Pictou, Nova Scotia and both Charlottetown and Georgetown on PEI. The station remained in place until 1922. Interestingly, it was Cape Bear's wireless operator, Thomas Bartlett, who first received the frantic April 1912 telegraph from the doomed "Titanic"! During WW II, German U-boats were spotted from the lighthouse surfacing off Cape Bear.
Some of the keepers at Cape Bear included Abraham Daly (from 1887-1896), Luther Jordan, Hiram Hyde, and Ewart A. Keeping (from 1926-1959). The lighthouse became automated in 1959.
Today, a museum has been added to the lighthouse detailing its interesting history. It has become a destination in the Beach Point area for visitors and locals alike.
Source: Heritage Division, PEI Dept of Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4320-20/C6
The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of the Cape Bear Lighthouse:
- The tapered three storey wood framed tower clad in wooden shingles and painted white
- The iron lantern topping the tower with exterior railing on the observation deck all painted red
- The rows of vertically alligned four over four windows in the tower all with pedimented roof caps
- The entrance door to the tower with a gabled roof
- The new addition to the side of the tower
Other character-defining elements include:
- The coastal location of the lighthouse down a secluded red clay road in the community of Beach Point
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Designated Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Architect / Designer
Department of Marine and Fisheries
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Division, PEI Dept of Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4320-20/C6
Cross-Reference to Collection
Cape Bear Lighthouse
The Cape Bear Lighthouse is a wooden square-tapered tower. Built in 1881, the lighthouse achieves a height of 12.2 metres (40 feet) from base to vane. It was decommissioned and…