Canada. Point Atkinson Lighthouse

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Canada. Point Atkinson Lighthouse

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In 1872 the Canadian Department of Marine and Fisheries and awarded a contract to Arthur Finney to build a lighthouse at Point Atkinson for the sum of $4250. The lighthouse was in operation in 1875 within the jurisdiction of the Department of Marine, Ottawa, under the terms of the B.N.A. Act, section 91.

The first lighthouse keepers were Edwin Woodward and his wife Ann. Finding the area too isolated, they moved to Ontario after five years, and the Weldwoods, who succeeded them stayed less than a year. Walter Erwin was the light keeper from 1880 to 1910. In 1889 a steam fog alarm was installed at Point Atkinson, and Thomas D. Grafton was hired as Erwin's assistant. When Erwin retired in 1909, Grafton took charge of the lighthouse and fog alarm and remained until 1934, when he was accidentally killed by an explosion of dynamite in his hand while bait fishing. Ernest Dawe became lighthouse keeper in 1935 and served until 1960.

In 1912, the original wooden lighthouse was replaced by a reinforced concrete tower, designed by Colonel William Patrick Anderson of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and the surrounding area was designated a park. In 1942, Point Atkinson became a military station for the duration of World War II. Searchlights and cannon were installed, and cedar barracks in the forest behind the lighthouse housed eighty soldiers. In 1963 an electrical motorized system was introduced, and in 1974 the fog alarm was replaced with airchime foghorns

Gordon Odlum served as lighthouse keeper from 1963 to 1974; Bob Ferriday from 1974 to 1975; and Jim Barr from 1975. Donald Graham was the last lighthouse keeper, serving from 1980 to 1996 when the station was completely automated. In 1994 Point Atkinson Lighthouse was declared a National Historic Site.


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