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Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse

S. Rankin Street, Saugeen Shores, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2012/08/02

Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse; Kraig Anderson - lighthousefriends.com
Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse
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Other Name(s)

Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse
Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse
Phare d'alignement antérieur de Saugeen River

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2016/09/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse is a 9.5 metre (31 ft) square wooden structure with tapered walls, surmounted by a metal railed gallery and a wooden lantern. Located on Lake Huron on the end of a pier extending westward from the north side of the mouth of the Saugeen River in the community of Southampton (incorporated in 1999 as part of the Town of Saugeen Shores), it and the nearly identical rear range light located 750 metres to the east were constructed in 1903. The tower is painted white, with red trim and a red day stripe facing west toward traffic approaching the harbour.

Heritage Value

The Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.

Historical values
As part of a pair of range lights that has remained in service for over a century to help guide maritime traffic into Southampton harbour, the Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse is a very good example of the system of marine aids to navigation developed for the Great Lakes.
Constructed one year before Southampton was incorporated as a town, the lighthouse was an integral component in the port’s economic development and it illustrates Southampton’s development into a regional hub for the north east shore of Lake Huron.

Architectural values
The Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse is a very good example of the ‘pepper pot’ design favoured for Canadian lighthouses through much of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to its typical pepper pot elements, the coved cornice supporting the gallery contributes to the aesthetic quality of the lighthouse.
The economy of its construction and the durability of its design make the Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse particularly well-suited for its exposed location at the end of a pier jutting out from the mouth of the Saugeen River. The lighthouse has withstood more than a century of exposure to Lake Huron weather, a tribute to its materials, craftsmanship and maintenance.

Community values
The Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse is the first structure to greet mariners arriving at Southampton’s harbour entrance and, in association with the nearby Chantry Island, Saugeen River Rear Range, and McNab Point lights, it establishes the area’s maritime character.
The Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse is a key symbol for the small port community of Southampton, with its history rooted in maritime trade and commercial fishing. Southampton is now a tourist destination that thrives on its maritime heritage. With its distinctive silhouette and traditional white and red colour scheme, the front range lighthouse is a major element of that heritage.

Related buildings
No related buildings are included in the designation.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Saugeen River Front Range Lighthouse should be respected:
— its location at the western end of a pier extending from the north shore of the mouth of the Saugeen River;
— its relationship to the associated rear range light;
— its relationship to the adjacent landscape, pier and water;
— its intact, as-built structural form and proportions, based on the standard design of square, tapered, wooden towers;
— its square wooden structure of timber frame construction with tapered sides rising from a square base;
— its superimposed gallery, supported by the coved cornice that transitions from the tapered walls;
— the design and material of the plain iron railing that surrounds the gallery;
— its wooden lantern with its hipped roof and cylindrical metal ventilator;
— its sole entry door, raised several feet above the level of the pier, that projects from the plane of the east façade, and surmounted by a plain pediment;
— its sole six-paned window (currently closed in) that projects from the plane of the north façade, surmounted by a shed roof;
— rugged cedar shingles cladding its sloping sides;
— its traditional colour scheme, consisting of white for the tower, cornice and lantern and red accenting for the gallery railing, the trim outlining the entry door, the lantern roof, the roof ventilator, and the day mark on the western façade.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act

Recognition Type

Heritage Lighthouse

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Conservation and Commemoration Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Quebec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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