Description of Historic Place
Located on the north shore of Prince Edward Island, overlooking the entrance to New London Bay, this lighthouse includes a tapered wooden tower topped by an iron lantern. It also includes an attached former keeper's dwelling. Several four over four windows are located in the exterior. They are topped by shed shaped window caps. The colour scheme of the lighthouse is red and white.
The New London Lighthouse is valued for its architectural style; its association with the history of the area; and its contribution to the scenic vista of the area.
Built in 1876 by the federal Department of Marine and Fisheries, it was originally the only lighthouse in the area designed to support the fledgling fishing industry. By 1879, however, a second range light was established closer to the sea, making this one the back range light.
The tapered wooden construction of the lighthouse is typical of many built in the province in the 1870s. This example is unique in that it still has an attached former keeper's dwelling. It is only one of four remaining lighthouses in Prince Edward Island with attached keeper's dwellings. The others are at North Rustico, Wood Islands, and the Blockhouse Light near Rocky Point.
The famous ship, the Marco Polo, was wrecked on sand bars in July 1883, only five miles east of the lighthouse. The three masted clipper ship had been built in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1851 and went on to become one of the fastest ships in the world. The wreck site is a National Historic Site.
In 1891, both the front range light and the main lighthouse were moved closer to the channel to be more effective in guiding vessels through the harbour. The lighthouse survived a fire in 1894 which destroyed the lighting apparatus. Lighthouse keeper, Capt. George McKenzie saved the structure from the fire.
The lighthouse is also notable for having one of the few female keepers in Atlantic Canada. Maisie Adams served from 1943 to 1955.
For a time, the lighthouse had been leased as a private summer cottage.
Source: Heritage Division, PEI Dept of Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4320-20/N1
The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of the New London Lighthouse:
-The wooden tapered construction of the lighthouse which has a wide base which narrows at the top
- The attached former keeper's residence with gable roof
- The brick chimney on the roof of the keeper's dwelling
- The iron lantern enclosed in glass and painted red with a railed observation deck
- The supporting brackets under the lantern
- The four over four windows in the exterior with wooden caps in the shed style painted red
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the lighthouse in New London with its dramatic sea vistas and sand dunes both combining to enhance the maritime heritage of the lighthouse