Description of Historic Place
The Saugeen River Rear 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 a rise of land on the north side 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 front range light located 750 metres to the west were constructed in 1903. Originally located 215 metres to the east of the front light, it was moved to its current location in 1906. The tower is painted white, with red trim and an orange day stripe facing west toward traffic approaching the harbour.
The Saugeen River Rear Range Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community 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 Rear 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.
The Saugeen River Rear 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.
Light and easy to relocate, the Saugeen River Rear Range Lighthouse has proven very well suited for its role as a rear range light, which may require realignment from time to time. Additionally, the lighthouse has withstood more than a century of exposure to Lake Huron weather, a tribute to its materials, craftsmanship and maintenance.
The Saugeen River Rear Range Lighthouse is a defining built element in its rural/suburban setting along the shore of the Saugeen River. In association with the nearby Chantry Island, Saugeen River Front Range, and McNab Point lights, it establishes the area’s maritime character.
The Saugeen River Rear 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. By virtue of its relationship with the front range light and its traditional white and red colour scheme, the rear range lighthouse is a major element of that heritage.
No related buildings are included in the designation.
The following character-defining elements of the Saugeen River Rear Range Lighthouse should be respected:
— its location on a rise of land on the north side of the Saugeen River;
— its relationship to the associated front range light;
— its relationship to the adjacent landscape, harbour and water;
— its intact, as-built 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 slightly above ground level, 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 fieldstone foundation;
— 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, and the roof ventilator, and orange for the day mark on the western façade.