Join us in 2019 as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the lighthouse!

Lighthouse 150!

Cape Jourimain Lighthouse

The 15.5 m wooden lighthouse was built in 1869 and first became operational in the spring of 1870. The structure is located on Jourimain’s north-western point and is characterized by its tapered octagonal design, Victorian inspired ornaments, and classic red-and-white colour scheme

Quick Facts

  • When was it built? Construction was completed in December of 1869.
  • When did it become operational? The first lantern was installed in April of 1870.
  • How tall is it? 15.5 m.
  • Who was the first lighthouse keeper? Lewis Wells looked after it for a few months after its completion, but the first permanent keeper was John Bent.
  • Is it sill in use?  No, the lighthouse ceased operation in 1997 when the Confederation Bridge opened to the public.
  • Who owns the lighthouse? The Cape Jourimain Nature Centre acquired ownership of the lighthouse from Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 2015.
  • Can I go inside? The lighthouse is only open to the public during special events.
  • Are you part of the USLHS’ Passport Program? Yes! You can get your passport stamped at our administrative office in the Interpretive Centre.

History

A petition was discussed in sessional papers as early as 1842 regarding the installation of a lighthouse on Jourimain Island. Years later, in an effort to make navigating the Strait safer (at least six shipwrecks occurred in the Northumberland Strait between 1834 and 1869), the project was approved. The Dominion of Canada purchased the land for the lighthouse and in December of 1869, the structure was officially completed

Lewis Wells looked after the Lighthouse over the first winter, which remained non-operational until a temporary lighting apparatus was installed in April of 1870. On May 15th, John Bent was appointed as the first permanent lighthouse keeper. The Bent family operated the lighthouse for at least 70 years, becoming the longest serving family of lighthouse keepers in Canada.

In 1969, the light was fully automated, ending the service of the final lighthouse keeper, Merrill Trenholm. The lighthouse continued to operate until 1997, when Marine Atlantic ended their ferry service as a result of the opening of the Confederation Bridge. In 2015, the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre officially acquired ownership of the lighthouse and, with the help of donations, they began an extensive restoration project, which was completed in 2017.