Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse
Phare de l'île Bois Blanc
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Lighthouse at Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse and Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada is located on a large, grassed area of Bois Blanc Island. It is a tapered, stone tower whose shaft features a door and three windows that follow the internal stone staircase. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Lighthouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Lighthouse at Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse and Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada is a structure that is closely associated with the theme of the development of navigational aids for maritime traffic on the Great Lakes during the 1830s. It was the third lighthouse constructed to improve the safety of Lake Erie navigation, following increases in shipping activity. In 1838, the lighthouse was attacked and captured by American and Canadian patriots during the Rebellion of 1837-38. It is also closely related to the history of the local Hackett family, who were lighthouse keepers for three generations until the automation of the light in the 1950s. The lighthouse was transferred to Parks Canada in 1961.
The lighthouse is a good example of an Imperial tower, a common lighthouse type in the 1830-1860 period. It is characterized by its tapered tower consisting of a rubble-stone core with sturdy proportions and a corbelled stone cornice. Its good functional design is evidenced in its thick masonry walls and the internal utilitarian layout. The rough rubble walls with irregular coursing and minimal detailing are evidence of its good quality craftsmanship.
The Lighthouse is compatible with the present character of its fort setting and is a familiar landmark to area residents.
Fort Malden National Historic Site, Bois Blanc Island, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office, Building Report 91-181; Lighttower, Bois Blanc Island, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 91-181.
The character-defining elements of the Lighthouse should be respected.
Its Imperial tower design, good functional design and good craftsmanship, for example:
- its simple massing and form which follows the classical tripartite column division of
base, body and capital and consists of a linked base and tapered shaft with a capital
expressed as stepped masonry corbelling;
- the rough rubble limestone walls with irregular coursing and minimal detailing
including an arched opening for the door and a corbelled cornice;
- the multi-paned windows that follow the internal stairs;
- the internal layout with a central stone stairway within the shaft.
The manner in which the Lighthouse is compatible with the character of the fort setting, and is a familiar structure in the area, as evidenced by:
- its scale and materials which harmonize with its picturesque parkland setting;
- its historical association with Fort Malden which makes it familiar to local residents.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
1838/01/01 to 1838/01/01
1836/01/01 to 1961/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection