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Seacow Head Lighthouse

198 Lighthouse Road, Fernwood, Prince Edward Island, C0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2012/10/03

Southeast elevation; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2012
Southeast elevation
Lantern and window detail; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2012
Lantern and window detail
Window detail; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2012
Window detail

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2013/11/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located on a point of land overlooking Seven Mile Bay, the Seacow Head Lighthouse is an octagonal tapered wood-shingled white structure with a red iron lantern. A metal railing surrounds the observation deck. The Confederation Bridge can be seen from the site.

Heritage Value

The Seacow Head Lighthouse is valued for its architectural style; its associations with the maritime heritage of the area; and for its contribution to the surrounding community.

Built in 1863, as one of the five original colonial era or pre-Confederation lighthouses in Prince Edward Island, the lighthouse at Seacow Head was the third constructed after Point Prim (1845) and Panmure Island (1853). Today, it is one of the oldest remaining wooden lighthouses in the Maritimes. The lighthouse may have been designed by Alexander Anderson and was built of heavy timber construction by David MacFarlane and John Rankin.

This lighthouse was an important navigational aid for marine traffic and fishers and later for the ferry operating between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. At 70 feet high, it provides an incredible view of the Confederation Bridge. The design of the structure is typical of Island lighthouses of the period, although instead of decorative brackets at the top of the tower, this has a decorative cornice.

The lighthouse became automated in 1959, and twenty years later, it was moved back from its original location due to shoreline erosion. The 1879 lighthouse keepers' quarters was removed from the site about 1960.

The lighthouse was used in filming sequences for the Road to Avonlea television series. It remains a scenic location enjoyed by both visitors and locals.

Source : Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4230-20/S8

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of the Seacow Head Lighthouse:

- the white wood shingled tower, tapered at the top with an observation deck
- the octagonal shape of the tower
- the iron railing around the observation deck
- the decorative cornice
- the red iron lantern
- the six over six windows with pedimented caps
- the entrance door with pedimented cap



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Designated Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


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

Alexander Anderson


David MacFarlane

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Source : Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4230-20/S8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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